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Dépiction non naturelle et dépiction naturelle‎ : images, représentation, contexte

Abstract : This work is both an essay in the philosophy of pictures which defends a renewed approach to an old question (How do pictures represent?) and a study of the use of pictures in communicative acts, by defending a pragmatic view of pictorial representation in the case of handmade pictures. Another aim of this work is to help shape a contextualist debate in the philosophy of pictures comparable to the minimalism/contextualism debate in philosophy of language as it has been defined by François Recanati (Recanati 2004, 2007, 2010). This work is not alone on the pragmatic side of the philosophy of pictures. It is a continuation of earlier preliminary works in the analytic tradition on pictures (Kjørup 1974, 1978, Novitz 1975, 1977, Eaton 1980, Korsmeyer 1985) and it is related with the current Gricean trend in philosophy of pictures (Abell 2005, 2009, 2013, Blumson 2009, 2014). On the pragmatic view shared by many of these philosophers what is pictorially represented depends upon the artist’s publicly recognizable intentions i.e. is a form of non-natural meaning. However, this work does not defend that all pictorial representation is a communicative act. Indeed, the third aim of this work is to defend an original pictorial dualism according to which the difference between handmade pictures (drawings, paintings and etchings) and photographs is based on the difference between non-natural meaning and natural meaning. Photographic representation is a variety of natural meaning. In order to describe a framework within which some photographs are natural singular signs, this work takes advantage of the recent revival of natural information theories (Millikan 2000, 2004, 2007, 2013, Shea 2007, Stegemann 2015, Scarantino 2015), and especially of the ones which meet the veridicality requirement on natural information and (in this respect) stay in line with the original Gricean notion of natural meaning. Despite our view on photographs, the pragmatic notion of what the “pictorial utterer” represents is held as the key notion and a strong emphasis is put on the pragmatic side of the pictorial/pragmatics interface. The idea here is that a communicative presumption is in place whenever a picture (handmade or photographic) is publicly displayed, similar to the communicative presumption defined by Bach and Harnish 1979 in the case of linguistic communication. This presumption is the mutual belief shared by pictorial utterers and viewers, that someone is trying to communicate something to somebody whenever a picture is publicly displayed. In ordinary circumstances, viewers are not interested in all the things naturally represented by a photograph, but only in what the photographer intends to represent. Central to our study of the use of pictures in communicative acts is the idea that free pragmatic processes operate in the very constitution of what is pictorially communicated. We argue in particular that the selective problem – or the problem of narrowing down the propositions communicated by the use of picture in a communicative act or the relevant details for the pragmatic interpretation – is solved by a free (top down) pragmatic process – pragmatic impoverishment – and not by pictorial selectivity. The informational theory of pictorial representation of Dominic Lopes (Lopes 1996), is a dialectical focus of this work, due do its specific monism which equates handmade pictures with photographic pictures, its theory of pictorial selectivity and its tendency to squeeze out communicative intentions of the communicative picture
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Submitted on : Monday, February 4, 2019 - 10:03:40 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02005422, version 1


Frédéric Wecker. Dépiction non naturelle et dépiction naturelle‎ : images, représentation, contexte. Philosophie. Université de Lorraine, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016LORR0347⟩. ⟨tel-02005422⟩



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