Looking into Pictures: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Pictorial Space
Robert Schwartz is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the author of Vision: Variations on Some Berkeleian Themes and other books. He is a coeditor of Looking into Pictures: Reconceiving Pictorial Space (MIT Press, 2003).
Interdisciplinary explorations of the implications of recent developments in vision theory for our understanding of the nature of pictorial representation and picture perception.
The last half of the twentieth century witnessed dramatic changes in the theory of vision. In particular, the "eye-as-camera" metaphor that had long dominated the field no longer seemed tenable. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the metaphor has maintained its appeal in the study of pictures. In Looking into Pictures, philosophers, psychologists, and art historians explore the implications of recent theories of vision for our understanding of the nature of pictorial representation and picture perception. They examine the dual nature of picture perception, the fact that viewers must separate the visual properties of the picture itself from those of what the picture represents. Discussing the status of perspective, they ask whether perspective renderings of space are special or more accurate than those found in other types of pictures, and if so why. Finally, they consider the possible need to reconceive pictorial space and the implications of such a reconception for the study of picture perception.
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