•  19
    Invisible Images and Indeterminacy: Why We Need a Multi-stage Account of Photography
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 79 (2): 161-174. 2021.
    Some photographs show determinate features of a scene because the photographed scene had those features. This dependency relation is, rightly, a consensus in philosophy of photography. I seek to refute many long-established theories of photography by arguing that they are incompatible with this commitment. In Section II, I classify accounts of photography as either single-stage or multi-stage. In Section III, I analyze the historical basis for single-stage accounts. In Section IV, I explain why …Read more
  •  242
    Photography and causation: Responding to Scruton's scepticism
    British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (4): 327-340. 2009.
    According to Roger Scruton, it is not possible for photographs to be representational art. Most responses to Scruton’s scepticism are versions of the claim that Scruton disregards the extent to which intentionality features in photography; but these cannot force him to give up his notion of the ideal photograph. My approach is to argue that Scruton has misconstrued the role of causation in his discussion of photography. I claim that although Scruton insists that the ideal photograph is defined b…Read more
  •  1
    I examine the relationship between complete analysis and clarificatory analysis and explain why Wittgenstein thought he required both in his account of how to solve the problems of philosophy. I first describe Wittgenstein’s view of how philosophical confusions arise, by explaining how it is possible to misunderstand the logic of everyday language. I argue that any method of logical analysis in the Tractatus will inevitably be circular, but explain why this does not threaten the prospect of solv…Read more
  •  18
    In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Wittgenstein appeals to clarity when he characterises the aim, task and results of philosophy. In this essay I suggest that his ‘picture theory’ of language implies that clarity has aesthetic significance in philosophical work. Wittgenstein claims that the task of philosophy is to make thoughts clear. In the ‘picture theory’ of thought and language, a thought expressed in language is a proposition with a sense and a proposition is a picture of reality. The q…Read more
  •  22
    In this paper I make a comparison between the imaginative activity of reading literature and the elucidatory activity of doing philosophy. My aim is to highlight significant features of a non-traditional view of philosophical method – inspired by Wittgenstein.
  •  61
    Clear as Mud
    Journal of Philosophical Research 31 277-294. 2006.
    In both the Tractatus and the Investigations, Wittgenstein claimed that the aim of philosophy is to achieve clarity: to see clearly the logic or grammar of our language. However, his view of clarity underwent an important change, one of many changes that led Wittgenstein to write, in the preface to the Investigations, that his new ideas “could be seen in the right light only by contrast with and against the background of my old way of thinking.” I argue that certain “grave mistakes” of the Tract…Read more
  •  47
    Facing the Camera: Self‐portraits of Photographers as Artists
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (1): 56-66. 2012.
    Self-portrait photography presents an elucidatory range of cases for investigating the relationship between automatism and artistic agency in photography— a relationship that is seen as a problem in the philosophy of art. I discuss self-portraits by photographers who examine and portray their own identities as artists working in the medium of photography. I argue that the automatism inherent in the production of a photograph has made it possible for artists to extend the tradition of self-portra…Read more
  •  128
    The Real Challenge for an Aesthetics of Photography
    In Aaron Ridley & Alex Neill (eds.), Arguing about Art (3rd ed.), Routledge. 2007.
    An extract from this unpublished article is published in Neill & Ridley (eds.) Arguing about Art (2007).
  •  145
    Fixing the Image: Re-thinking the 'Mind-independence' of Photographs
    Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 6 (2): 1-22. 2009.
    We are told by philosophers that photographs are a distinct category of image because the photographic process is mind-independent. Furthermore, that the experience of viewing a photograph has a special status, justified by a viewer’s knowledge that the photographic process is mind-independent. Versions of these ideas are central to discussions of photography in both the philosophy of art and epistemology and have far-reaching implications for science, forensics and documentary journalism. Mind-…Read more
  •  345
    This article contains a survey of recent debates in the philosophy of photography, focusing on aesthetic and epistemic issues in particular. Starting from widespread notions about automatism, causality and realism in the theory of photography, the authors ask whether the prima facie tension between the epistemic and aesthetic embodied in oppositions such as automaticism and agency, causality and intentionality, realism and fictional competence is more than apparent. In this context, the article …Read more