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Catharine Abell
University of Manchester
  1. II—Genre, Interpretation and Evaluation.Catharine Abell - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):25-40.
    The genre to which an artwork belongs affects how it is to be interpreted and evaluated. An account of genre and of the criteria for genre membership should explain these interpretative and evaluative effects. Contrary to conceptions of genres as categories distinguished by the features of the works that belong to them, I argue that these effects are to be explained by conceiving of genres as categories distinguished by certain of the purposes that the works belonging to them are intended (...)
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  2. The Epistemic Value of Photographs.Catharine Abell - 2010 - In Catharine Abell & Katerina Bantinaki (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction. Oxford University Press.
    There is a variety of epistemic roles to which photographs are better suited than non-photographic pictures. Photographs provide more compelling evidence of the existence of the scenes they depict than non-photographic pictures. They are also better sources of information about features of those scenes that are easily overlooked. This chapter examines several different attempts to explain the distinctive epistemic value of photographs, and argues that none is adequate. It then proposes an alternative explanation of their epistemic value. The chapter argues (...)
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  3. Art: What It Is and Why It Matters.Catharine Abell - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):671-691.
    In this paper, I provide a descriptive definition of art that is able to accommodate the existence of bad art, while illuminating the value of good art. This, I argue, is something that existing definitions of art fail to do. I approach this task by providing an account according to which what makes something an artwork is the institutional process by which it is made. I argue that Searle’s account of institutions and institutional facts shows that the existence of all (...)
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  4. Pictorial Implicature.Catharine Abell - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (1):55–66.
    It is generally recognised that an adequate resemblance-based account of depiction must specify some standard of correctness which explains how a picture’s content differs from the content we would attribute to it purely on the basis of resemblance. For example, an adequate standard should explain why stick figure drawings do not depict emaciated beings with gargantuan heads. Most attempts to specify a standard of correctness appeal to the intentions of the picture’s maker. However, I argue that the most detailed such (...)
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  5.  90
    Comics and Genre.Catharine Abell - 2012 - In Aaron Meskin & Roy T. Cook (eds.), The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach. Blackwell. pp. 68--84.
    An adequate account of the nature of genre and of the criteria for genre membership is essential to understanding the nature of the various categories into which comics can be classified. Because they fail adequately to distinguish genre categories from other ways of categorizing works, including categorizations according to medium or according to style, previous accounts of genre fail to illuminate the nature of comics categories. I argue that genres are sets of conventions that have developed as means of addressing (...)
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  6.  71
    On Outlining the Shape of Depiction.Catharine Abell - 2005 - Ratio 18 (1):27–38.
    In this paper, I discuss the account of depiction proposed by Robert Hopkins in his book Picture, Image and Experience. I first briefly summarise Hopkins’s account, according to which we experience depictions as resembling their objects in respect of outline shape. I then ask whether Hopkins’s account can perform the explanatory tasks required of an adequate account of depiction. I argue that there are at least two reasons for which Hopkins’s account of depiction is inadequate. Firstly, the notion of outline (...)
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  7.  39
    Against Depictive Conventionalism.Catharine Abell - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (3):185 - 197.
    In this paper, I discuss the influential view that depiction, like language, depends on arbitrary conventions. I argue that this view, however it is elaborated, is false. Any adequate account of depiction must be consistent with the distinctive features of depiction. One such feature is depictive generativity. I argue that, to be consistent with depictive generativity, conventionalism must hold that depiction depends on conventions for the depiction of basic properties of a picture’s object. I then argue that two considerations jointly (...)
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  8. Review of Anthony Everett, The Nonexistent. [REVIEW]Catharine Abell - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):209-212.
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  9. Review of Gregory Currie , Narratives and Narrators: A Philosophy of Stories. [REVIEW]Catharine Abell - 2011 - Philosophy in Review 31 (5):324-326.
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  10.  24
    Review of Zenon Pylyshyn's Seeing and Visualizing: It's Not What You Think. [REVIEW]Catharine Abell - 2005 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 11.
    This book has three principle aims: to show that neither vision nor mental imagery involves the creation or inspection of picture-like mental representations; to defend the claim that our visual processes are, in significant part, cognitively impenetrable; and to develop a theory of “visual indexes”. In what follows, I assess Pylyshyn’s success in realising each of these aims in turn. I focus primarily on his arguments against “picture theories” of vision and mental imagery, to which approximately half the book is (...)
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