Seeing-in an Image: Husserl and Wollheim on Pictorial Representation Revisited

Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi 29 (3-4):31-55 (2020)
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This paper proposes a parallel between the theories of pictorial representation put forward by Edmund Husserl and Richard Wollheim. By doing so, it aims to facilitate a dialogue that can provide some new elements for an appropriate understanding of threefold seeing-in. The first section offers a comprehensive interpretation of Husserl’s theory of image-consciousness. This experience is considered a threefold perceptual phantasy, different from perception and sign-consciousness. The second section presents a review of Wollheim’s theory of twofold seeing-in and addresses a possible ambiguity in his notion of thing represented. Finally, the third section discusses two topics that result from this parallel: first, the characteristics of the configurational and recognitional folds in a seeing-in experience, and second, the possibility of their ‘mixture’ with phantasy. As a result, I propose a different account of threefold seeing-in: I suggest that the configurational and the recognitional folds should be considered aspects or intentions of seeing-in, and that the configurational aspect corresponds to the intention to the image-object.

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Rodrigo Y. Sandoval
University of Cologne


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