Kendall Walton famously argues that photographic images—in contrast with handmade images—are transparent; we see through them to the persons or objects that were in front of the camera at the moment of exposure. Walton also argues, separately, that our philosophical investigations in the representational arts generally should adopt the methodology of theory construction. This article brings together these two strands of Walton's thought by rendering his argument for photographic transparency in the form of a theory consisting of a perceptual natural kind and an underlying naturally dependent process, the former postulated in order to account for various photographic explananda. The surprising result is that Walton's theory, thus construed, yields at least one prediction that is in conflict with what we observe and that, because of this, he is forced to embellish his theory in ways that render it psychologically implausible and that raise the worry of ad hoc patching up
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DOI 10.1111/jaac.12107
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