Disturbis 7
Photographs, Mimesis and Make-Believe 1 
sabina dorneanu

    On a regular basis, photography is criticized for being too obvious and for lacking the subtlety that we normally ascribe to the fine arts. However, I will proceed here to a reassessment and reappraisal precisely of this “overexposure” specific to photography, pointing out its interest for the parallel philosopher Kendall Walton makes between art and the game of make-believe.

    One of the main complaints brought to photography, in what concerns its ranking among the arts and more specifically its comparison with painting, is that a photograph is too obvious a picture, too “transparent” [2] and too much an accurate, mimetic copy of what it is out there to be copied. In other words, it resembles too much to that which it copies, namely the perceptible world. Being so resembling, so evident, its effect is presumably that of cutting off any imaginative follow-up on the part of the viewer, who is rebuffed by such plainness and whose imagination and understanding would therefore resist the involvement in the Kantian free play. So to speak, no one would cry in front of a photograph [3]. Photographs, says James Elkins, the renown art historian and professor, “have a kind of naked truth – they seem to be hard-wired to the world – and they elicit a very narrow range of personal reactions. Paintings seem to have a little more distance [...]”.

    In the following sections, I will approach the topic of photography’s “nakedness” from the point of view of an ingenious perspective, that envisions art as a game – more exactly, a make- believe game – the end being that of questioning this purported incapacity of photography to “elicit personal reactions”.

Make-believe games and works of art. Why photography is so good at playing this game

    The American philosopher Kendall Walton coined the ingenious term of “make-believe truth” (and also rule, context, statement, etc.) at the beginning of the 1970s, that he found handy in order to talk about a particular category of true propositions – the so-called fictionally true propositions. He got his inspiration from the well-known children games of make-believe: “In playing with mud pies children pronounce in assertive tone propositions such as the following:

    There are three pies here.

    I have already baked that pie.

    There are raisins in this pie.

    That idiot man stepped on one of our pies.

    You got a bigger piece than I did.

    Commonly these statements, taken literally, are false (or neither true nor false), and are

known to be so by the children who make them. But we might regard them as being ‘fictionally true’, or true ‘in the game of make-believe’, in appropriate cases. Thus, I will say, it may be that *p* (F) (read: ‘It is fictionally true that p’), even if it is not true that p.”[4]

    After making an extensive presentation of the case of the fictional truths, he distinguishes the make-believe truths from the imaginary truths. Both are fictional truths, that is to say sentences that are taken to be true in a specific game of make-believe, but the imaginary truths are sentences that are true in spite of not having any solid connection with something in the immediate reality, while make-believedly truths are considered to be those fictionally true sentences that are true in virtue of some “actual fact”.[5] For example, if one member of the game says that one pie has raisins in it, and the respective glob of mud is one that contains pebbles, than this is a factual clue that makes this fictional truth a make-believedly one. If, on the other hand, a participant to the game makes some made-up affirmation which nonetheless is accepted as true during the game by all the participants, but that cannot be associated with any realistic tie in the game, then that fictional truth is an imaginary one, not a make- believedly one.


     What relevance could this notion have for a debate about photography or about art in general? Carrying on Gadamer’s idea that art is play, Walton states that the works of art function as “props” in a game of make-believe, and he mentions that he is talking about the representational arts. The reason he makes this analogy between children’s games of make- believe and representational art is that “both involve fictional worlds” [6]. Another fundamental intervention from Walton’s part is lending a crucial importance to the world of the appreciators of art. Many other contemporary art theories assign a more or less active attitude to the appreciators who do not solely “appreciate” [7] artworks, but what’s distinctive in Walton’s viewpoint is that they constitute a world of their own, world within which they participate in games of make-believe, precisely by using art works as props [8]. Then he goes on to explaining what he means by this notion of “props” for the context of the appreciators’ game: “If a doll is in a child’s arms, participants in the game are to imagine that the child is holding a baby. So it is fictional in the game that he is holding a baby. [...] Things that generate fictional truths in this manner I call props.”[9]

    Now the main areas in which Walton applies its theory in the article “Pictures and Make- Believe” are painting and literature, the examples – quite “representative” for representational art – being Breughel’s Haymaking and Dostoyevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. Photography is ignored in Walton’s article and mentioned only very briefly in the book. When talking about photography, we could claim that it is almost impossible to say that it can be non- representational: a photograph is taken of something out there. Even when that something is unrecognizable, the photograph still stands for that something [10]. Or so we think, even if from a rigorous point of view this seeming causal relation does not represent an irrefutable proof for its representationality, but rather a common sense assumption, that lacks philosophical validity. Black argues about this matter in his article “How do pictures represent” [11], stating that the appeal to “causal history” – the account of the way a photograph was produced – is not a reliable indication for its ability to represent the subject and that “no genetic narrative of the photograph’s provenance, no matter how detailed and accurate, can logically guarantee that photograph’s fidelity” [12]. So to speak, assuming that simply pointing the camera at the subject guarantee that photograph’s ability to represent the subject is groundless. In any case, the argument about what it means for an image to represent applies to all types of images, not just to photographs, therefore we can consent that in so far as we can speak of representationality when discussing pictures, drawings etc., we can speak of representationality when discussing photographs too, taking the appeal to representationality with a grain of salt [13] .

    Now of course those who lament the loss of the indexicality [14], brought about by the advent of the digital photography, claim that digital photography is no longer photography, but something else, a terra incognita among or outside art. Even so, it could not be said about this “something else” – the digital photographic craft - that it is not representational, not even from the point of view of an extremely exclusive understanding of the term. The startling resemblance between the final product and its referent, albeit a coincidence made possible by the latest technology, is an irrefutable alibi for its representationality – that, of course, if we choose to employ a resemblance-based definition of representationality. Anyway, for the sake of the present discussion, we can leave aside the digital photography and consider only the indexical, analogical one, even if the loss of the indexicality does not infringe directly onto the question of representationality, indexicality being simply replaced by another way of denoting the object – the iconic reference being the option left, that actually fits very well photography.


   Returning to the disappointment expressed by so many in what concerns the obviousness of photography – its lack of inscrutability – , we are tempted to check if this so-called shortcoming might not prove to be a surprising advantage in the game of make-believe. In what sense? Given that a participant to the game – or an art appreciator that uses a photograph on the gallery wall as a prop in a make-believe game – is supposed to get involved in the game and to “believe” what he sees, or to imagine that what he sees makes him believe something else than what he visually perceives, certain features of the (art) object functioning as prop might reveal useful. What I mean is that some perorations function better than others as fictional truths in a make-believe game, and for the same reason some art works function better than others as props in a similar game. From this point of view, isn’t it possible that the resemblance/obviousness of photography help the viewer to identify faster the elements of the game and to react more appropriately and maybe even more intensely to the subliminal message [15]? Imagine that in a game of pies, some children will design square or lopsided heaps of mud, while others will put together roundly shaped globs, with a nice finishing aspect. In which case do you think the favorable reception of the globs of mud as pies will be quicker? The same with photography – why wouldn’t it be that resemblance act as a propeller and stimulant in the game? That is to say, the sum of the recognizable facets that are implied by a photograph, due to its very own nature, that of being a copy almost impossible to distinguish from the fragment copied – a mechanical copy, as sometimes indicted – , may act as a prop catalyst, that accelerates the speed and expands the array of the mental processes involved in the game. As a matter of fact, this element of resemblance can act as an actual linkage that represents the condition for a fictional truth to be a make-believedly one. For example, a Mondrian abstract painting can be said to purport only imaginary fictional messages to its appreciators, since there is almost nothing there, in the painting, to be reclaimed as constituting a concrete link leading to the fictional truth asserted. On the contrary, a photograph a priori includes a huge amount of elements that can constitute each a link to a certain fictional truth, which automatically makes that truth a make-believedly one. Consequently, we can state that photography’s resemblance functions as a solid bound, being what it takes for a statement in the game of make-believe to be an authentic make-believedly truth.


    What about translating  the  vicious threesome-attribute    of photography “resembling / obvious / transparent” as “verisimilar / convincing / see-through”? Is it suitable to convert the reproving adjective “obvious” into a commendable one, like “convincing”? And is it helpful? In which sense can a photograph be convincing? Apart from the manifest sense, that a photograph as evidence – as document – is supposed to be convincing, what relevance could this adjective have here? One interesting observation is that neither one of these two adjectives – obvious and convincing – absolutely imply the idea of reliability as conformity to the reality, while both have a synonymous sense of “credibility”. This means that something can be convincing, credible, even obvious, without being truthful. And this is a very adequate point to make about photographs, because they are notoriously expected to be truthful, even if – unfortunately (?) – in most of the cases are not, without this hindering them to be so convincing. As a matter of fact, this argument is particularly well placed for the case of postprocessed or montaged photographs. While looking at a blatantly unbelievable montaged photo such as the one below,

Joan Fontcuberta (1976)

despite the wide range of feelings that you experience, from the surprise and delight till the sentiment of strangeness [16] and maybe even discomfort, you cannot deny the amazement of feeling somehow convinced by what you see. Because you are persuaded by the cogency of the underlying fictional truth stated in the game. Of course, if you decide to enter a game, being told the truth is of little importance, since games are about “making” truths and believing them. But being “convinced” is of paramount importance. And I state that montaged photographs enjoy a special set of characteristics that make them extremely gifted for the make-believe game. Why is that?

    In the case of a montaged photograph there is a delay, a gap between two images – the untouched original and the sham version – that is always present. In the case of a novel or a painting you cannot possibly know what the previous version was, even if you are free to assume there was one in the mind of the author. And even if he decides to share it with the audience, the act will no doubt be ulterior the experience of reading the novel or admiring the painting. Or it could also precede it, but in no case can it be concomitant and spontaneous. With a montaged photograph, it is as if you see what in a make-believe game you are only told. In the game you are informed about the rules, although you know the “reality” is different. For example, you are told this is a pie, despite the fact that you are perfectly aware that it is a glob of mud. The same thing goes with the photograph, except for the fact that the montaged photograph acts like a transfiguration of the rule – you see what you are otherwise told that is the rule. If this would be a regular make-believe game, and not a photograph, you would be told that you are supposed to imagine that this perfectly normal man on a bike, that you are looking at, is a man without legs riding a bike. But since it’s not a regular game, you are practically able to see the rule – to see a legless man riding a bike – even if you know the “reality” is different: you know that man has legs, but they were removed during montaging. Being aware of the “reality” does not spoil the pleasure of the game, because if it would be so no game would ever be played [17].

    Thanks to this double that subsists condensed in a montaged photograph [18] – double constituted by the original version and the processed one – , the image operates as a very efficient make-believe game – therefore as a very efficient prop – , precisely because it works surreptitiously, without the participant/appreciator even knowing that the game has already started. It’s spontaneous and automatic. Because you are actually seeing both versions at once, since it’s impossible for you not to suspect that the man has legs, therefore impossible for you not to “see” the original version at the same time. When Walton says “whatever seeing is, it is not imagining” [19], he refers to the fact that us imagining Smerdyakov in Brothers Karamazov falling down the stairs is never the same with seeing the pages, the letters or the phrases of the actual book, but it also works the other way around: when you see something, you can imagine whatever you want, but when “just” imagining you cannot pretend seeing. Whilst in a montaged photograph, these two acts are delightfully condensed – seeing and imagining become both possible in a unique concomitant way: you see what you (otherwise just) imagine [20]! It is a very odd carrying out of the saying “making dreams come true” and also a reinforcement of Collingwood’s suggestion [21] that no art is material, but reconstructed, recreated in the mind of the audience.

Can we actually speak of make-believe when discussing photography?

    If we take Walton’s example, of the child that holds a puppet about which the participants to the game are supposed to think it’s a baby, we can hastily decide that photography is not subtle enough, that it does not produce fictional truths in the genuine make-believe sense, and this because a photograph could not be a metaphor able to slyly bring about suppositions and guesses. On the contrary, it would create a “forced” make-believe: we don’t see a child holding a puppet about whom we are supposed to believe that he’s holding a baby, we actually see the child holding a baby! Does it still make sense, in this situation, to talk about a game of make-believe? Because in this case one isn’t expected to believe what one is shown simply because that’s the name of the game, in point of fact one is compelled to believe it because he sees it! And in fact he isn’t compelled to believe anything, he just passively acquiesces to what is “obvious”, to “the naked truth”.

    But what if the intention of the artist who took the photograph of a child holding a baby was completely different than the one conveyed by the “obvious” image? What if he/she is using the image of the child holding a baby as a prop in a game of make-believe where the rule could be: a child holding a baby means a teen mother, or an abandoned child, or maybe something less political and less literal, such as two verses from a haiku, or the transfiguration of a bad dream, or why not the expression of a phobia, or just as well a standard make-believe rule, such as a child holding a baby means a woman carrying a purse (the last supposition would be a very reasonable one, since in general children do not own purses to play with and no women take part to their games). The bottom line, after all, is that nobody says we are to believe that what we see is what we get.

    But wouldn’t this make it more difficult for photography as an art to achieve its purpose? And wouldn’t this make more valuable the photographic attempt to surpass photography’s “transparency” in order to get beyond it, to suggest something that it is not immediately available to the mind and the eye? And doesn’t it make all this endeavor even more commendable when it succeeds? Isn’t it more difficult for an actor to be persuasive and inspiring when he is casually acting in his customary outfit, in plain daylight, compared to an actor performing in a complex scenery in a theater, disguised as the play demands it? Does not require this a superior art from the part of the former? However, in the light of this newly proposed standpoint, we could be forced to rephrase the main idea of the previous chapter, that is to say the claim that the specific trait of photography, its transparency, made it an ideal candidate for the make-believe games. Because now it seems that when photography does want to purport different messages or make-believedly truths than the “obvious” ones, it is much more tricky for it to succeed, since disentangling the obvious from the elusive is a truly awkward job for a medium as stark as the photographic one. And it could actually make photography the least appropriate candidate for the make-believe games, given that the game would turn out to be so complicated and unpredictable.

    But on the other hand, when nothing is visually prescribed – if we view the photograph as a projecting surface, a working basis – , everything becomes imaginarily available. And this is a completely new and resourceful approach to the way the make-believe game could function as an underlying aesthesis: however, in this case, we would not be talking about make- believedly fictional truths to be spoken out in photography, but rather about imaginary truths – those truths that are fictionally true only by virtue of someone invoking them, in spite of not having any concrete clues to rely on. The reason why is evident: if a photograph is solely a working basis, anything can be said about it, without any correlation with the apparent content. The only condition which remains undamaged is of course the agreement among the participants to the game, or the appreciators, as Walton names them.

    However, when talking about the possible functioning of a (photographic) image as a working basis, as a recipient of all likely interpretations that the appreciators assign to it, there are some things to be said, some limits to be tested. Why is it that one picture is denied any relevance and another picture is deemed worthy of the “thousand words” dictum? Or why is it that one picture is considered unlikely and another one realistic? Can any interpretation be given to a certain image – as the imaginary truths hypothesis seems to imply – or is there a limit to it? Is any image worthy to be gazed at and interpreted, or are there limits to this game of interpreting? If we undertake Walton’s argument about the puzzling relationship between the terms fiction and nonfiction [22] and the ambiguous rapport they have with the allegation of being realistic – the fact that a work of fiction can very well be realistic (even if it involves fictitious characters, places or situations) and that a nonfiction work (even if it involves existing, therefore real characters, places or situations) is, and for obvious reasons, a fiction, while also obviously both are fictional, from the point of view of his theory – we can venture the supposition that when someone says that an artwork, or more specifically an image is not feasible, not reasonable, that it is unrealistic, utopic or phantasmagoric, what he/she actually means is that the alleged significance – the fictional truth proposed by its author – is not tenable in the context of the given image. And this wouldn’t necessarily be as a result of its fabrication, because it can happen that an “out of the camera” image render a feeling of unease, as if being improbable. And vice-versa, a forged image, such as Jeff Wall’s scrupulously postprocessed and montaged photographs, can appeal to the eye as the most believable photograph ever. The embodiment of the message doesn’t have everything to do with the dependability or trustworthiness, but rather with a certain psychological realism. It is, as Collingwood said, a matter of the ability to symbolize that truth which is “felt” [23]. Or not.

Jeff Wall (1982)

    This indication would seem to lead us back to the hypothesis of the make-believedly truths, as a more plausible or effective way of explaining how aesthetic enjoyment occurs. Since the make-believedly truths claim the presence of some observable links between the enunciated fictional truth and the art object understood to comprise it, this exigency would appear to be a necessary condition for the successful symbolization of that truth. But is this also a sufficient condition? Is this a guaranty that the truth will be “felt”? I think this is a tough question and no doubt the answer is no. Sometimes an imaginary truth, less easier guessed, will work better than a make-believedly one, regardless of the latter’s corroboration with the available “data”, and some other times not. The achievements of any game depend, probably, on the number and sophistication of its rules and steps, on the involvement and sophistication of its appreciators, on the gift and sophistication of its designer. Overall, the fictional truths theory proves to be of much potential for the understanding of the way art operates by being an enchanting summoning to playing a game. While maybe not everybody is an artist [24], (almost) everyone can play a game. And some are very good to it.

    The problem with photography then, is that it seems obvious, while it may very well not be. Contemporary nonconformist and experimental framings, croppings, compositions, uses of colors and themes, choices of subjects seriously challenge the position stated at the beginning of this chapter, position that implied that what you see in a photograph is what you get out of it – and still they seem so obvious and exposed, as if to make the untrained viewer believe they are empty and emptied of any fictional content or message. And even when they claim to be so, the very claim is a phony statement, a fake trail to be dodged, a bona fide make-believe rule, to be interpreted this way: when I say this photograph has nothing to say, what I mean is that you have to assume exactly the opposite – for example, that it is so charged with meanings and significances, that it makes it impossible for me to explain to you what I meant by it; or that when I say this photograph has nothing to say, what I mean is that you have to search for your own meaning and find your own significant content within it. Of course, this may not always be resolutely assumed by the author of a photograph who says there’s nothing to that picture, and it may be that this occurs also because art is an adult game, and therefore the rules of a make-believe adult game could be slightly different than those of a children make-believe game.

    This approach to the art phenomenon as a make-believe game cannot however identify an ultimate rule of the game, but neither is this a doable or a desirable task, in point of fact. Nevertheless, it redirects the trail with much inventiveness towards the other playing field – that of the appreciators. Maybe if we cease watching the artist for a moment and turn around to watch the watcher, there could be some interesting points to make there. And maybe even more so in the case of photography – for it could prove pointless, every so often, to spend so much time investigating an “instantaneous” act, and much more beneficial to investigate the longer lasting process of “looking at photographs” [25] .


1.- The title is aparaphrase of the titles of Kendall Walton’s article“PicturesandMake-Believe”, The Philosophical Review, vol. 82, No. 3 (July 1973), pp. 283-319, and also of his book Mimesis as Make-Believe, On the Foundation of Representational Arts, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1990. For convenience, when quoting from these I will abbreviate the title of the article as PMB, and the title of the book as MMB.

2.- Walton uses this word – and not necessarily in a pejorative sense – in his article “Transparent Pictures: On the Nature of Photographic Realism,” Critical Inquiry, 11/2 (December 1984), pp. 246-277, explaining that “Photographs are transparent. We see the world through them” (page 251).

3.- An allusion to James Elkins’ views about photography and painting, expressed in Pictures and Tears: A History of People who Have Cried in front of Paintings, New York, Routledge, 2001. To quote his words exactly, people who exceptionally cry in front of photographs “almost always cry for just one reason: they know the person or the place” (p.132).

4.- Kendall L.Walton, PMB,p.287.

5.- “Some propositions may be make-believedly true and others imaginarily true relative to the same context. Fictional truths concerning a game of mud pies are, for the most part, make-believe truths. But participants in a game of mud pies might decide just to decree that something is fictionally true in their game, without linking it to any other actual fact. They might decree, for example, that *Johnny once served a scrumptious pie to Napoleon*(F), in which case *Johnny once served a pie to Napoleon* (I) relative to the game of make-believe. (This might be a reason to assign Johnny the role of head waiter.) In another game, it might be that *Johnny served a pie to Napoleon* (MB), because Johnny placed a mud glob in front of a tree labeled ‘Napoleon’. A game of make-believe may degenerate into a joint or solitary daydream if it acquires an excess of imaginary truths.” In Walton, PMB, p. 291.

6.- Kendall L. Walton, “Précis of Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 51, No. 2, Jun. 1991, pp. 379-382 (p. 379). When quoted later, this will be abbreviated as Pr.

7 Another distinctive and very creative perspective upon the world of art consumers, critics and audience belongs to French writer and curator Nicolas Bourriaud, who speaks about “relational aesthetics”, a concept denoting the multifocal net of relations contributing to the coming into being, the digestion and the appreciation of a work of art. However, Walton’s contribution is of a very different nature, and his viewpoint over the people involved in the appreciation of the works of art does not assume such a hard core involvement in the outlining of the artistic process and products. He is rather assuming that there is more than one art world: the world of artists, the world of art appreciators etc., the difference being the accent put by him onto the complexity of the universe of art appreciators, who themselves participate to games – make-believe games – therefore enjoying a meaningful artistic experience, deeper and more beguiling than otherwise thought it would be.

8.- “I claim, however, that appreciators use paintings and novels as props in games of make-believe, much as children use dolls and toy trucks, and that appreciators participate in these games.” In Walton, Pr, p. 380.

9.- Kendall L.Walton, Pr, p.380.

10.-Of course, digital, numerical art or electronically-produced pictures does not qualify here as photography.

11.-Max Black, “How do pictures represent”, in E.H. Gombrich, Julian Hochberg and Max Black, Art, Perception and Reality, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1992, pp. 101-104.

12.-Black, op. cit., p. 103.

13Actually Walton puts the idea of representationality in a different light, arguing for an abstract painting, for example, to be representational, but in a peculiar manner: “I also examine so-called abstract or nonrepresentational paintings, and conclude that many of them are representations, although they differ from figurative paintings in that the «characters» in their fictional worlds are simply the actual colored patches on their surfaces” (Walton, Pr, p. 380).

14.-The concept of index (from the Latin index) has its origins in Charles Peirce’s semiotic theory, and is part of the three- sign typology: “An «index» is a sign connected to its referent along a physical axis, such as a thumbprint or a footprint, offering a one-to-one correspondence with the thing it represents.” In the case of the analogical photography, the photographed object reflects itself onto the photosensitive surface (the film), through the mediation of light. This mediation of light provides the “indexicality”, the connection between the object and the sign. With the digital photography this situation changes dramatically, and what is being photographed is registered as digits, as “information” on a memory card. The mediation that constitutes the sine qua non of the indexicality vanishes, hence indexicality being lost.

15.-Of course, this is not to say that the artistic experience occasioned by a photograph is more exquisite than, for example, that occasioned by a sculpture. However, this is not to say the contrary either. What concerns us for the moment is how photography’s obviousness can play a beneficial role in the game of make-believe.

16.-While talking about the non-pathological manifestations of the unconscious, as found in “normal” people – lapsuses, missed deeds, dreams, jokes – , Freud mentions the notion of strangeness, or uncanny (Unheimlich), that characterizes the arrival of the unconscious contents at the consciousness.

17.-What matters in a montaged photograph is that this awareness be only rationally assumed, that there aren’t visual clues that could affect the experience of the game. What can really spoil the pleasure of the game in the case of a montaged photograph is the quality of the montage – when this is pour, no game is possible, because the final version is delivered deficient, therefore there’s no chance either of knowing the rule of the game – the make-believe truth perorated – , either of enjoying the pastime.

18.-  It could be argued as well that a nonprocessed (straight and indexical) photograph can perform the same role as a montaged photograph in a game of make-believe, since here too there are two condensed situations: the photograph and the “reality” portion immortalized, always thought to be present in the mind of the observer, as an unavoidable appendix. We can only figure that this is a mind automatism, to instantly parallel a photograph with what was photographed. But this would be to go back to the first point – which stated the fact that the resemblance acts as a linkage that makes the fictional truth purported by a photograph to be a make-believedly one. That because theoretically a straight photograph does not portray a different version of the reality – even if this is debatable – therefore is not able to portray a transfiguration of some rule.

19.- Kendall L. Walton, PMB, p. 286.

20.- The same thing couldn’t be said about paintings, because what seeing is, in the case of a painting, is more like the imagining, since the way painting represents is not of the mimetic photographic type. And moreover, there is never a reason to assume the pre-existence of a referent in the case of a painting – it can be completely imaginary and even when it is not, it is liable to a limitless interpretation of that referent. 21R.G.Collingwood, The Principles of Art, New York, Oxford University Press, p. 149-151.

22.-The main cause of this puzzling situation is, as he describes, the contradictory common dichotomy between fiction and nonfiction literary works: the “differentiation between novels, stories, fables, and fairy tales on the one hand and biographies, histories, textbooks, instruction manuals, and newspapers articles on the other”. In Walton, MMB, p. 73.

23.-R.G. Collingwood, “Plato’s Philosophy of Art”, Mind, New Series, Vol. 34, No. 134 (April 1925), pp. 154-172 (p. 162): (“[...]and truth so disguised is rather felt than thought, that is, it is present to the mind in the form of an emotional atmosphere clinging to the symbol.”).

24.-Allusion to Joseph Beuys’ famous debatable statement that “everyone is an artist”. 25This observation refers to the titles of the other articles written by Walton, “Looking at Pictures and Looking at Things,” in Andrew Harrison (ed.), Philosophy and the Visual Arts, Reidel, 1987, pp. 277-300, and “Looking Again Through Photographs: A Response to Edwin Martin,” Critical Inquiry, Summer, 1986.


Collingwood, R.G., The Principles of Art, New York, Oxford University Press, 1938.

Collingwood, R.G., “Plato’s Philosophy of Art”, Mind, New Series, Vol. 34, No. 134 (April 1925), pp. 154-172.

Elkins, James, Pictures and Tears: A History of People who Have Cried in front of Paintings, New York, Routledge, 2001.

Gombrich, E.H., Hochberg, Julian and Black, Max, Art, Perception and Reality, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1992.

Walton, Kendall L., Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundation of the Representational Arts, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1990.

Walton, Kendall L., “Pictures and Make-Believe”, The Philosophical Review, vol. 82, No. 3 (July 1973), pp. 283-319.

Walton, Kendall L., “Précis of Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts”, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 51, No. 2, Jun. 1991, pp. 379-382.

Walton, Kendall L., “Transparent Pictures: On the Nature of Photographic Realism,” Critical Inquiry, 11/2 (December 1984) 246-277.


© Disturbis. Todos los derechos reservados. 2010