Marvelous Images: On Values and the Arts

Marvelous Images: On Values and the Arts

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0195177959

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The twelve essays by Kendall Walton in this volume address a broad range of theoretical issues concerning the arts. Many of them apply to the arts generally-to literature, theater, film, music, and the visual arts-but several focus primarily on pictorial representation or photography. In "'How Marvelous!': Toward a Theory of Aesthetic Value" Walton introduces an innovative account of aesthetic value, and in this and other essays he explores relations between aesthetic value and values of other kinds, especially moral values. Two of the essays take on what has come to be called imaginative resistance-a cluster of puzzles that arise when works of fiction ask us to imagine or to accept as true in a fiction moral propositions that we find reprehensible in real life. "Transparent Pictures", Walton's classic and controversial account of what is special about photographic pictures, is included, along with a new essay on a curious but rarely noticed feature of photographs and other still pictures-the fact that a depiction of a momentary state of an object in motion allows viewers to observe that state, in imagination, for an extended period of time. Two older essays round out the collection-another classic, "Categories of Art", and a less well known essay, "Style and the Products and Processes of Art", which examines the role of appreciators' impressions of how a work of art came about, in understanding and appreciation. None of the reprinted essays is abridged, and new postscripts have been added to several of them.














insistence on the Reality Principle of implication, for deciding whether moral propositions of certain sorts are fictional. 2. Kendall L. Walton, “Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume 68 (1994): 27–50. [Reprinted as chapter 3 of this volume; page references are to this volume.] 3. Tamar Gendler examines Hume’s comments in some detail. Gendler, “Imaginative Resistance Revisited,” in The Architecture of the Imagination: New Essays

literature unpleasant or intolerable. What makes the experience painful may be not so much what is imagined as the manner in which it is, the vividness of one’s imaginative experience, induced by a vividly realistic portrayal. But there may be certain horrendous scenarios that one simply cannot imagine in a tolerably detached manner. Bernard Williams presents the possibility of a person who regards certain courses of action as unthinkable, or who thinks it insane to consider what one ought to do

then there is no special visual experience involved beyond merely ascertaining the relevant features of the canvas; one does not see something in the picture,16 nor does one participate appropriately in a visual game of make-believe. But this is not even how linguistic conventions normally work. We automatically recognize a word in a familiar language as meaning what it does; we do not first ascertain the shapes of the letters and then apply the relevant convention to figure out what it means.

(actual) seeing of the picture, which I imagine to be a seeing of the mountain. (2) What I imagine to be the duration of my seeing of the mountain. (3) What I imagine to be the apparent duration of the time slice of the mountain that I see. (4) What I imagine to be the duration of the time slice of the mountain that I see. Table 10.1 What the viewer imagines to be: (1) The duration of the viewer’s seeing(s) of the picture, which she imagines to be of the scene/event (2) the duration of the

The motion depicted in figure 10.15, raging rapids forming standing waves, is not such as to render the appearance of the scene much different as time passes. So imagining a five-minute observation of the picture to be a five-minute observation of a five-minute temporal chunk of the rapids does not require imagining the river to be, or appear to be, frozen. One can unproblematically imagine continuing to see the water in motion, watching it moving, for five minutes or indefinitely. Similar examples are

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