Pictorial experience: not so special after all

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The central thesis (CT) that this paper upholds is that a picture depicts an object by generating in those who view the picture a visual experience of that object. I begin by presenting a brief sketch of intentionalism, the theory of perception in terms of which I propose to account for pictorial experience. I then discuss Richard Wollheim’s twofoldness thesis and explain why it should be rejected. Next, I show that the socalled unique phenomenology of pictorial experience is simply an instance of perceptual indeterminacy. Lastly, I discuss a phenomenon associated with pictures that could be considered a problem for CT, and account for it by invoking the thesis that visual experience is cognitively penetrable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-491
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 31 Oct 2014


  • Cognitive penetrability
  • Indeterminacy
  • Intentionalism
  • Perceptual experience
  • Pictorial experience

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


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