Twofold Pictorial Experience

Erkenntnis:1-22 (forthcoming)
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Richard Wollheim famously argued that figurative pictures depict their scenes, in part, in virtue of their ability to elicit a unique type of visual experience in their viewers, which he called seeing-in. According to Wollheim, experiences of seeing-in are necessarily twofold, that is, they involve two aspects of visual awareness: when a viewer sees a scene in a picture, she is simultaneously aware of certain visible features of the picture surface, the picture’s design, and the scene depicted by the picture. Even though Wollheim’s notion of twofoldness has been very influential, a number of philosophers have put forward powerful arguments against it. In this paper, I defend the claim that some pictorial experiences are twofold in Wollheim’s sense. My argument has two parts. In the first part, I provide a phenomenal contrast argument in favor of twofoldness. In the second part, I respond to what I take to be the most important objections against twofoldness. I believe that both parts together provide strong support for the claim that some pictorial experiences are twofold in Wollheim’s sense.
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Archival date: 2019-11-16
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