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Robert Hopkins
New York University
  1. How to Be a Pessimist About Aesthetic Testimony.Robert Hopkins - 2011 - Journal of Philosophy 108 (3):138-157.
    Is testimony a legitimate source of aesthetic belief? Can I, for instance, learn that a film is excellent on your say-so? Optimists say yes, pessimists no. But pessimism comes in two forms. One claims that testimony is not a legitimate source of aesthetic belief because it cannot yield aesthetic knowledge. The other accepts that testimony can be a source of aesthetic knowledge, yet insists that some further norm prohibits us from exploiting that resource. I argue that this second form of (...)
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  2. What Perky Did Not Show.Robert Hopkins - 2012 - Analysis 72 (3):431-439.
    Some philosophers take Perky's experiments to show that perceiving can be mistaken for visualizing and so that the two sometimes match in phenomenology. On Segal’s alternative interpretation Perky’s subjects did not consciously perceive the stimuli at all. I argue that even setting this alternative aside, Perky's results do not prove what the philosophers think. She showed her subjects, not the objects they were asked to visualise, but pictures of them. What they mistook for visualizing was not perceptual consciousness of stimuli, (...)
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  3. Inflected Pictorial Experience: Its Treatment and Significance.Robert Hopkins - 2010 - In Catharine Abell & Katerina Bantinaki (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Picturing. Oxford University Press. pp. 151.
    Some (Podro, Lopes) think that sometimes our experience of pictures is ‘inflected’. What we see in these pictures involves, somehow, an awareness of features of their design. I clarify the idea of inflection, arguing that the thought must be that what is seen in the picture is something with properties which themselves need characterising by reference to that picture’s design, conceived as such. I argue that there is at least one case of inflection, so understood. Proponents of inflection have claimed (...)
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  4. Imagining the Past: On the Nature of Episodic Memory.Robert Hopkins - 2018 - In Fiona MacPherson Fabian Dorsch (ed.), Memory and Imagination. Oxford University Press.
    What kind of mental state is episodic memory? I defend the claim that it is, in key part, imagining the past, where the imagining in question is experiential imagining. To remember a past episode is to experientially imagine how things were, in a way controlled by one’s past experience of that episode. Call this the Inclusion View. I motive this view by appeal both to patterns of compatibilities and incompatibilities between various states, and to phenomenology. The bulk of the paper (...)
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  5. The Real Challenge to Photography (as Communicative Representational Art).Robert Hopkins - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):329-348.
    I argue that authentic photography is not able to develop to the full as a communicative representational art. Photography is authentic when it is true to its self-image as the imprinting of images. For an image to be imprinted is for its content to be linked to the scene in which it originates by a chain of sufficient, mind-independent causes. Communicative representational art (in any medium: photography, painting, literature, music, etc.) is art that exploits the resources of representation to achieve (...)
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  6. The Speaking Image: Visual Communication and the Nature of Depiction.Robert Hopkins - 2006 - In Matthew Kieran (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Blackwell. pp. 135--159.
    This paper summarises the main claims I have made in a series of publications on depiction. Having described six features of depiction that any account should explain, I sketch an account that does this. The account understands depiction in terms of the experience to which it gives rise, and construes that experience as one of resemblance. The property in respect of which resemblance is experienced was identified by Thomas Reid, in his account of ‘visible figure’. I defend the account against (...)
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  7. Aesthetics, Experience, and Discrimination.Robert Hopkins - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (2):119–133.
    Can indistinguishable objects differ aesthetically? Manifestationism answers ‘no’ on the grounds that (i) aesthetically significant features of an object must show up in our experience of it; and (ii) a feature—aesthetic or not—figures in our experience only if we can discriminate its presence. Goodman’s response to Manifestationism has been much discussed, but little understood. I explain and reject it. I then explore an alternative. Doubles can differ aesthetically provided, first, it is possible to experience them differently; and, second, those experiences (...)
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  8. Realism in Film (and Other Representations).Robert Hopkins - forthcoming - In Katherine Thomson-Jones (ed.), Current Controversies in the Philosophy of Film. Routledge.
    What is it for a film to be realistic? Of the many answers that have been proposed, I review five: that it is accurate and precise; that is has relatively few prominent formal features; that it is illusionistic; that it is transparent; and that, while plainly a moving picture, it looks to be a photographic recording, not of the actors and sets in fact filmed, but of the events narrated. The number and variety of these options raise a deeper question: (...)
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  9. Episodic Memory as Representing the Past to Oneself.Robert Hopkins - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (3):313-331.
    Episodic memory is sometimes described as mental time travel. This suggests three ideas: that episodic memory offers us access to the past that is quasi-experiential, that it is a source of knowledge of the past, and that it is, at root, passive. I offer an account of episodic memory that rejects all three ideas. The account claims that remembering is a matter of representing the past to oneself, in a way suitably responsive to how one experienced the remembered episode to (...)
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  10. Explaining Depiction.Robert Hopkins - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (3):425-455.
    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 (...)
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  11. The Spectator in the Picture.Robert Hopkins - 2001 - In Rob Van Gerwen (ed.), Richard Wollheim on the Art of Painting. Art as Representation and Expression. Cambridge University Press. pp. 215-231.
    This paper considers whether pictures ever implicitly represent internal spectators of the scenes they depict, and what theoretical construal to offer of their doing so. Richard Wollheim's discussion (Painting as an Art, ch.3) is taken as the most sophisticated attempt to answer these questions. I argue that Wollheim does not provide convincing argument for his claim that some pictures implicitly represent an internal spectator with whom the viewer of the picture is to imaginatively identify. instead, I defend a view on (...)
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  12. Sculpture and Space.Robert Hopkins - 2003 - In Matthew Kieran & Dominic Lopes (eds.), Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts. Routledge. pp. 272-290.
    What is distinctive about sculpture as an artform? I argue that it is related to the space around it as painting and the other pictorial arts are not. I expound and develop Langer's suggestive comments on this issue, before asking what the major strengths and weaknesses of that position might be.
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  13.  77
    Imagination and Affective Response.Robert Hopkins - 2010 - In Jonathan Webber (ed.), Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism. Routledge. pp. 100-117.
    What is the relation between affective states, such as emotions and pleasure, and imagining? Do the latter cause the former, just as perceptual states do? Or are the former merely imagined, along with suitable objects? I consider this issue against the backdrop of Sartre’s theory of imagination, and drawing on his highly illuminating discussion of it. I suggest that, while it is commonly assumed that imaginative states cause affective responses much as do perceptions, the alternatives merit more careful consideration than (...)
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  14.  73
    Sculpture.Robert Hopkins - 2005 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. Oxford University Press. pp. 572-582.
    What, if anything, is aesthetically distinctive about sculpture? Some think that sculpture differs from painting in being a specially tactile art. Different things might be meant by this, but it is anyway unhelpful to focus on our means of access to sculpture’s aesthetic properties, rather than those properties themselves. A more promising idea is that, while painting provides its own space, sculpture exists in the space of the gallery. To pursue this thought, I expound and develop the views of Susanne (...)
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  15.  69
    Sartre.Robert Hopkins - forthcoming - In Amy Kind (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge. pp. 82-93.
    In The Imaginary Sartre offers a systematic, insightful and heterodox account of imagining in many forms. Beginning with four ‘characteristics’ he takes to capture the phenomenology of imagining, he draws on considerations both philosophical and psychological to describe the deeper nature of the state that has those features. The result is a view that remains the most potent challenge to the Humean orthodoxy that to this day dominates both philosophical and psychological thinking on the topic.
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  16. Perspective, Convention and Compromise.Robert Hopkins - 2003 - In Heiko Hecht, Margaret Atherton & Robert Schwartz (eds.), Looking Into Pictures: an interdisciplinary approach to pictorial space. MIT Press. pp. 145-165.
    What is special about picturing according to the rules of perspectival drawing systems? My answer is at once both radical and conciliatory. I think that depiction essentially involves a distinctive experience, an experience of resemblance. More precisely, the picture must be seen as preserving what Thomas Reid (Enquiry 1764) called the "visible figure" of what is represented. It follows from this, and from some other plausible premises, that if a picture is to depict detailed spatial arrangements, rather than simply to (...)
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  17. Critical Reasoning and Critical Perception.Robert Hopkins - 2006 - In Matthew Kieran & Dominic Lopes (eds.), Knowing Art. Springer. pp. 137-153.
    The outcome of criticism is a perception. Does this mean that criticism cannot count as a rational process? For it to do so, it seems it would have to be possible for there to be an argument for a perception. Yet perceptions do not seem to be the right sort of item to serve as the conclusions of arguments. Is this appearance borne out? I examine why perceptions might not be able to play that role, and explore what would have (...)
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