Projection, Recognition, and Pictorial Diversity

Theoria 82 (1):32-55 (2015)
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This article focuses on the difficulty for a general theory of depiction of providing a notion of pictorial content that accommodates the full diversity of picture types. The article begins by introducing two basic models of pictorial content using paradigmatic positions that maximize the ability of the respective models to deal with pictorial diversity. Kulvicki's On Images is interpreted as a generalized projection-based model which proposes a scene-centred notion of pictorial content. By contrast, Lopes's aspect-recognition theory, in Understanding Pictures, is taken to exemplify a recognition-based model of pictorial content. It is then considered how applicable these two notions of pictorial content are to a spectrum of different picture types, highlighting differences between mechanically produced and “freehand” pictures. It is shown that while the projection-based and recognition-based models are each required for some picture types, neither model can be applied over the whole spectrum of diverse picture types. This, it is argued, has the far-reaching consequence that neither the projection model nor the recognition model, nor any unitary combination of the two, can provide the basis for a theory of depiction applying to all pictures



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Andrew Inkpin
University of Melbourne

Citations of this work

Merleau-Ponty’s ‘sensible ideas’ and embodied-embedded practice.Andrew Inkpin - 2023 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 (2):501-524.
Merleau-Ponty’s ‘sensible ideas’ and embodied-embedded practice.Andrew Inkpin - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 (2):1-24.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Languages of Art.Nelson Goodman - 1970 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 3 (1):62-63.
Understanding pictures.Dominic Lopes - 1996 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Picture, Image and Experience: A Philosophical Inquiry.Robert Hopkins - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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