A. Voltolini's A Syncretistic Theory of Depiction PDF

By A. Voltolini

What's depiction? a brand new resolution is given to this venerable query via delivering a syncretistic thought of depiction that attempts to mix the advantages of the former theories at the topic whereas losing their defects. hence, not just perceptual, but in addition either traditional and causal elements give a contribution in making whatever an image of anything else.

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For semioticians à la Goodman, no such natural relation holds true for representations in general, or at least for pictorial representations. Yet in the latter case there are many figurative images whose relation with the objects they are about is causally based, the so-called transparent pictures: photos – still or moving, footprints, mirrors, etc. Yet, as we will see in the next chapter, one may easily amend the semiotic approach by saying that what the existence of transparent pictures proves is simply that the intentionality of a figurative image is not always a matter of convention, but also a matter of causation.

14 This is the gist of the so-called objective resemblance theory of depiction. Yet for the semiotician not only the resemblance theory of intentionality, but also the resemblance theory of figurativity is fundamentally wrong. For, as Goodman claims,15 not even the figurativity of a picture can be read off from the picture itself. I will deal with the criticisms against the objective resemblance theory in the next chapter, for here I wish to focus instead on the positive proposal the semiotician puts forward as to the figurativity of a picture.

Yet the syncretist acknowledges that what the folds of such a state exactly are and how they are intertwined is a matter that requires elaboration, one elaboration that Wollheim refrained from providing. Such an elaboration will have to describe, firstly, what kind of content such mental folds respectively have, secondly, how such contents are related, and thirdly, what kind of mental states those folds are. In the course of this elaboration, we will firstly find that the recognitional fold amounts to apprehending not the pictorial content of the picture, but rather its broader figurative content that, as we have seen, puts some constraints on the previous content.

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