British Journal of Aesthetics 52 (4):391-405 (2012)

Jérôme Dokic
Institut Jean Nicod
This essay explores the prospects of grounding an account of pictorial experience or ‘seeing-in’ on a theory of presence in ordinary perception. Even though worldly objects can be perceptually recognized in a picture, they do not feel present as when they are perceived face to face. I defend a dual view of perceptual phenomenology according to which the sense of presence is dissociated from the contents of perception. On the one hand, the sense of presence is best conceived as a non-sensory feeling. Ordinary objects are felt but not seen to be present. On the other hand, the contents of perception are determined by the actualization of perceptual-recognitional abilities. Unlike current versions of the feeling-based account of the sense of presence, I claim that these abilities enable us to perceive worldly (partial or overall) appearances. This claim justifies the strongest interpretation of recognition theories which does not fall back on the view that pictorial experience involves a kind of perceptual illusion
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DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ays037
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