By A. Voltolini
What's depiction? a brand new resolution is given to this venerable query by means of supplying a syncretistic conception of depiction that attempts to mix the benefits of the former theories at the topic whereas shedding their defects. hence, not just perceptual, but additionally either traditional and causal elements give a contribution in making anything an image of anything else.
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Extra resources for A Syncretistic Theory of Depiction
The system to which such a thermometer belongs will be both syntactically and semantically dense: given two of its characters, there will always be another character with a designation – that is a temperature – different from the designations – that is the temperatures – of the first two. 26 To tell pictorial from diagrammatic or mere analogue systems in general, Goodman puts forward an additional condition, which is normally meant to provide another necessary condition and, along with syntactic and semantic density, a sufficient condition of figurativity.
56 As we saw before, semioticians à la Goodman instead believe that the figurativity of a picture relies only on the symbolic features of a pictorial system, hence without appealing to features linked to the perception of a pictorial representation. Yet if figurativity is, rather, tied to the bare bones content of a pictorial representation, and this content is made of perceivable properties, the above belief is incorrect. 57 There are at least two reasons as to why this is the case. First, whenever an apparently pictorial system turns out not to be such, because it is not structurally transparent, what results is that we no longer discern the subject of a certain representation in its distorted meta-representation.
Of all the compatible representational contents, the content that picture has as its real pictorial content depends on the negotiation that governs such a selection. Now, the particular account the syncretist provides of the picture’s figurativity determines how, for the syncretist, the figurative content of a picture exercises its constraining role on the picture’s representational powers. As we will briefly see below, such an account allows the syncretist to combine the best elements he or she finds from the various perceptualist approaches.
A Syncretistic Theory of Depiction by A. Voltolini