Content-free pictorial realism

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


What is it for a picture to be more realistic, or more depictive, than another? Without committing to any thesis as to what depiction consists in, I show that degrees of depictiveness are grounded in a certain relation between two basic kinds of differences between pictures: configurational differences and content differences. A picture is thus more depictive just in case it is seen as having fewer nondepictive features, whereas a nondepictive feature is individuated through the susceptibility of the picture's configuration to change without entailing any change in the picture's content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-405
Number of pages31
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


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