Pictures, Propositions, and Predicates

American Philosophical Quarterly 57 (2):155-170 (2020)
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Abstract

Do representational pictures have propositional contents? The current paper argues that the characteristic contents of pictures are predicative rather than propositional: pictures characterise things as looking certain ways, and they thereby express properties of visual perspectives. The paper argues that the characteristic predicative contents of pictures are nonetheless able to feature in fully-fledged propositional contents once they are combined with contents of other suitable sorts. Various facts about communicative uses of pictures are then explained. The paper concludes by considering the bearing of its conclusions upon questions about the relationships between linguistic representation and pictorial representation.

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Dominic Gregory
University of Sheffield

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