Explaining depiction

Philosophical Review 104 (3):425-455 (1995)
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Abstract

An account of depiction should explain its key features. I identify six: that depiction is from a point of view; that it represents its objects as having a visual appearance; that it depictive content is always reasonably detailed; that misrepresentation is possible, but only within limits; and that the ability to interpret depictions co-varies, given general competence with pictures, with knowledge of what the depicted objects look like. All this suggests that picturing works by capturing appearances, but how more precisely does it operate? I show how to use the notion of experienced resemblance in outline shape to analyse depiction in such a way as to answer this question, and to explain the six key features above.

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Robert Hopkins
New York University

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