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By A. Voltolini

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

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Extra resources for A Syncretistic Theory of Depiction

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39 To deal with this counter-example, Kulvicki adds a fourth condition (d’) that provides both a necessary and (along with the three others) a jointly sufficient condition of figurativity: structural transparency. 40 Now, (d’) certainly holds true in the case of pictorial systems. Consider a photograph and another photograph which is an exact picture of the first. 41 Yet if we take the system to which the amorphous puzzle belongs, it does not satisfy (d’). Take a picture, tear it into many pieces and reassemble these pieces systematically so as to produce an amorphous puzzle.

In the context of watching Alan Parker’s Evita, a snapshot of the popstar Madonna functions as a picture of Evita Peron; caused by Madonna, the snapshot has no causal relationship with Evita. 10 The opposite may also occur, when one and the same item works as a transparent picture of a certain subject within a filmic context and as an opaque picture of Semiotic Theories of Depiction 27 another subject outside of that context. 11 Finally, let us consider examples of perceptually ambiguous pictures.

The amorphous puzzle in question is not a pictorial representation for, as a whole, it represents nothing. Yet it passes Goodman’s criteria for figurativity, and therefore Goodman would be forced to treat it as having a figurative value no matter what meaning were further ascribed to it. Yet, as we have seen in the previous chapter, it is mistaken to consider what accounts for the figurativity of a picture and what accounts for its intentionality as utterly separate factors. 33 Thus, a correct theory of depiction must be such that, in it, what accounts for the figurativity of a picture puts a constraint on what accounts for its intentionality.

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