Pictorial Understanding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


It is often said that when we appraise the epistemic value of images, we must accord a special status to photographs, since photographs bear an indexical relation to the objects that they depict. In this paper, I shall argue that this does not capture all the ways in which pictorial representations can be epistemically valuable. Images can also have value as an independent source of understanding by providing insightful ways of modelling the world and the relations we bear to it. This way, handmade images may allow us to grasp general truths about the things depicted even if such images do not possess the indexical quality which makes photographs epistemically valuable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics
Place of PublicationFribourg
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)1664-5278


  • photography
  • pictorial representations
  • images
  • philosophy


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