Pictorial experience and intentionalism

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2 Scopus citations


This article examines the compatibility of intentionalism (also called 'representationalism') in the philosophy of perception with the thesis that we can visually experience an object by looking at a picture of that object (the pictorial experience thesis, or PET). I begin by presenting three theses associated with intentionalism and various accounts of depiction that uphold PET. Next, I show that pictures sometimes depict an object indeterminately, thereby rendering the alleged visual experience of the depicted object partly nonintentional. I then argue that if PET is true, explaining pictorial indeterminacy on intentionalist premises is problematic. I conclude that PET is incompatible with intentionalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-416
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The American Society for Aesthetics.


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