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Pictorial Representation and the Significance of Style

Bradley, Helen (2015) Pictorial Representation and the Significance of Style. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis aims to show that the concept of style ought to be given greater significance in understanding depiction. I argue that if we want to understand pictorial representations we must remember that how they depict is crucial to understanding not only why they depict what they do, but also why we have the particular kind of experience that they engender. I develop and defend an account of artistic style that has its basis in the claim that individual style is the way in which an artist does something, where this way of doing something is highly personal. With this in place I explore and critically evaluate previous attempts at understanding pictorial representation, in particular the popular Resemblance View, further clarifying the phenomenon of seeing-in along the way. I then modify and develop an account of depiction which has its basis in the work of Flint Schier and Dominic Lopes, who argue for an ‘Aspect-Recognition’ theory of depiction. The Aspect-Recognition theory, I contend, can give us the beginnings of a story about depiction, but while it is pointing in the right direction, I show it is still inadequate. I then use the concept of style that I have developed and build upon the Aspect-Recognition theory to provide a better account; one that not only has explanatory force but also does justice to pictorial diversity and the phenomenology of pictorial experience. Finally, I put this view to work in resolving familiar problems in the philosophy of depiction, namely pictorial misrepresentation and pictorial indeterminacy. These remain the most persistent difficulties for other theories of depiction. Thus my view not only better describes the nature of pictorial experience more generally but is also much better equipped to make sense of curious phenomena in pictorial representation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Philosophy (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680632
Depositing User: Miss Helen Bradley
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 12:43
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12053

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