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Resemblance and representation : an essay in the philosophy of pictures

Blumson, Ben.
Date
[2014], ©2014

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

"It's a platitude – which only a philosopher would dream of denying – that whereas words are connected to what they represent merely by arbitrary conventions, pictures are connected to what they represent by resemblance. The most important difference between my portrait and my name, for example, is that whereas my portrait and I are connected by my portrait's resemblance to me, my name and I are connected merely by an arbitrary convention. The first aim of this book is to defend this platitude from the apparently compelling objections raised against it, by analysing depiction in a way which reveals how it is mediated by resemblance. It's natural to contrast the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance, which emphasises the differences between depictive and descriptive representation, with an extremely close analogy between depiction and description, which emphasises the similarities between depictive and descriptive representation. Whereas the platitude emphasises that the connection between my portrait and me is natural in a way the connection between my name and me is not, the analogy emphasises the contingency of the connection between my portrait and me. Nevertheless, the second aim of this book is to defend an extremely close analogy between depiction and description. The strategy of the book is to argue that the apparently compelling objections raised against the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance are manifestations of more general problems, which are familiar from the philosophy of language. These problems, it argues, can be resolved by answers analogous to their counterparts in the philosophy of language, without rejecting the platitude. So the combination of the platitude that depiction is mediated by resemblance with a close analogy between depiction and description turns out to be a compelling theory of depiction, which combines the virtues of common sense with the insights of its detractors."--Publisher's website.

Publication/Creation

Cambridge : OpenBook Publishers, [2014], ©2014.

Physical description

1 online resource (x, 212 pages) : illustrations

Notes

Available through Open Book Publishers.

Terms of use

The text of this book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0). For more detailed information consult the publishers website.

Contents

List of illustrations -- Acknowledgements -- Note on the text -- 1. Introduction -- 1.1 An ostensive definition of depiction -- 1.2 The analysis of resemblance as sharing properties -- 1.3 An intuitive taxonomy of representation -- 1.4 The methodology of analysis -- 1.5 Conclusion -- 2. Defining Depiction -- 2.1 Grice's analysis of speaker meaning -- 2.2 The intended effect in Grice's analysis -- 2.3 The salient feature in Grice's analysis -- 2.4 Abell's analysis of depiction -- 2.5 Conclusion -- 3. Depiction and Intention -- 3.1 Objections to the necessity of intention -- 3.2 Objections to the necessity of an audience -- 3.3 Objections to the sufficiency of intention -- 3.4 Objections to the necessity of reasons -- 3.5 Conclusion -- 4. Depiction and Convention -- 4.1 Goodman's definition of symbol systems -- 4.2 Formal definition of languages -- 4.3 Lewis' analysis of convention -- 4.4 Analysis of depictive symbol systems -- 4.5 Conclusion -- 5. Symbol Systems -- 5.1 Analysis of conventional language -- 5.2 Analysis of symbol systems in use -- 5.3 Depiction outside of symbol systems -- 5.4 Meaning outside conventional language -- 5.5 Conclusion -- 6. Depiction and Composition -- 6.1 Theories of representation -- 6.2 The finite axiomatization constraint -- 6.3 The mirror constraint -- 6.4 The structural constraint -- 6.5 Conclusion -- 7. Interpreting Images -- 7.1 Compositionality and language understanding -- 7.2 Compositionality and understanding pictures -- 7.3 Understanding pictures without compositionality -- 7.4 Understanding language without compositionality -- 7.5 Conclusion -- 8. Intentionality and Inexistence -- 8.1 Analysing depiction in intentional terms -- 8.2 Denying depiction is relational -- 8.3 Denying relations are between existents -- 8.4 Depiction of states of affairs -- 8.5 Conclusion -- 9. Perspective and Possibility -- 9.1 The possible worlds analysis of content -- 9.2 Centred properties and possible worlds -- 9.3 The two-dimensional analysis of content -- 9.4 Structured intensions and impossible worlds -- 9.5 Conclusion -- 10. Pictures and Properties -- 10.1 Predicate nominalism -- 10.2 Class nominalism -- 10.3 Scientific realism -- 10.4 Inegalitarian nominalism -- 10.5 Conclusion -- References -- Index.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (p. [199]-206) and index.

Type/Technique

Language

  • English


Identifiers

ISBN

  • 9781783740741
  • 9781783740758
  • 9781783740765

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