Art and Representation: Contributions to Contemporary Aesthetics

By Ananta Ch. Sukla | Go to book overview
Save to active project


A Causal Theory of Pictorial Representation
In a paper entitled “Two Theories of Representation” Jenefer Robinson raises the question whether Fregean and Kripkean theories of reference can be used to construct a theory of pictorial representation. 1 Robinson develops a descriptive theory out of Frege’s notions of sense and reference, and a genetic or causal theory from Saul Kripke’s account of reference of names and natural kind terms. She concludes that neither theory alone nor a pooling of the best features of both theories can provide necessary and sufficient conditions for all kinds of pictorial representation. In particular, the combined theory fails to provide an adequate account of metaphor and misrepresentation. In what follows, I attempt to show how causal theories of linguistic representation forwarded by Dennis Stampe can offer further insight into those problems of pictorial representation raised originally by Robinson and left unsolved by subsequent analyses. It is generally acknowledged that Goodman’s Languages of Art provides a basis for all subsequent discussions on pictorial representation. So before looking at Robinson’s attempt at filling in the details of his theory, let’s review the general structure of Goodman’s view as found in chapter 1 of Languages of Art.
An account of pictorial representation must address two general questions:
1. What, if anything, is represented by a given picture?
2. How is the putative object represented, which amounts on Goodman’s view to asking what kind of representation it is. (This characterization will be modified somewhat in the second half of the chapter.)


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Art and Representation: Contributions to Contemporary Aesthetics


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 282

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?