The Unity of Pictorial Experience


Seeing-in is the experience of seeing something in a picture. This experience is single and unified. It is not like the disjoint experience of perceiving one thing while simultaneously visualizing another. This is so despite the fact that, like the latter experience, seeing-in is twofold. It involves being visually aware of two distinct objects at the same time – an array of ink-marks, on the one hand, and the depicted scene, on the other. Plausibly, it also involves being aware of them in two distinct ways: while we perceive the ink-marks before us, the manner of our visual awareness of the depicted object is not perceptual. In this paper, I offer a novel way of reconciling these two features of seeing-in. I argue that the modes of visual awareness operative in seeing-in have to be understood on the model of converse relations, like lighter and heavier, in the sense that the same state arises from the obtaining of each.

Author's Profile

Rose Ryan Flinn
New York University


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