Event Title

By No Mere Means

Location

Trimble Forum, Trimble Hall

Start Date

18-9-2014 5:10 PM

End Date

18-9-2014 6:00 PM

Description

Photographs are many things. The mechanical process by which photographs are generated ensures their factivity. The information they carry is independent of whatever a photographer might believe. We have faith in the veracity of photographs. And they are democratic. Anyone who has access to a camera has the means to image reality. But photographs are not just exemplar recordings. They can be so much more. Photographic art speaks to us and continuously inspires new personal realizations. But Scruton claims that to defend photography as art is to place in the hands of everyone the means to be an artist. I claim that is going too far. It does not follow from photography’s democratic and factive virtues that photography is the means for everyone to be an artist. I argue that Scruton makes mere means of photography which leads to the impossibility of the kind of photographic experience that makes one an artist. But there are other means available. The photographic experience necessary to make anyone an artist is only possible by maesthetic means. If this is right, then by no mere means but only maesthetic means does photography make anyone an artist.

Type

event

Included in

Philosophy Commons

Share

COinS
 
Sep 18th, 5:10 PM Sep 18th, 6:00 PM

By No Mere Means

Trimble Forum, Trimble Hall

Photographs are many things. The mechanical process by which photographs are generated ensures their factivity. The information they carry is independent of whatever a photographer might believe. We have faith in the veracity of photographs. And they are democratic. Anyone who has access to a camera has the means to image reality. But photographs are not just exemplar recordings. They can be so much more. Photographic art speaks to us and continuously inspires new personal realizations. But Scruton claims that to defend photography as art is to place in the hands of everyone the means to be an artist. I claim that is going too far. It does not follow from photography’s democratic and factive virtues that photography is the means for everyone to be an artist. I argue that Scruton makes mere means of photography which leads to the impossibility of the kind of photographic experience that makes one an artist. But there are other means available. The photographic experience necessary to make anyone an artist is only possible by maesthetic means. If this is right, then by no mere means but only maesthetic means does photography make anyone an artist.