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ERIC Number: ED408973
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Philosophical Discussion of Representation.
Moriarty, Sandra E.; Kenney, Keith
One of the most basic theoretical areas in the study of visual communication and visual literacy is the nature of representation. Some of the important research in this area is reviewed in this paper, and a model of representation is developed that satisfies many of the philosophical concerns. The paper begins with a discussion on the relationship between pictures and reality. This relationship depends upon the nature of the sign. Iconic and indexical signs are highly dependent on resemblance and likeness; symbolic signs, however, depend on conventional relationships that have to be learned. Discussion then moves to the model, which maps representation in terms of four types of information processing: convention, natural perception, abduction, and cognitive processing. Some philosophers argue that all observations are read in a code using conventions. In contrast, others with the so-called "objective" view suggest that the ways things look are taken to be objective properties of the visual world. A number of scholars believe that pictorial representation is a natural process that uses inborn perceptual processes to generate meanings. Another approach to understanding representation is the notion of abduction, which is a way of thinking based on hypothesis building and conjecture rather than formal deductive or inductive reasoning. Subjective vision is based on the idea that people learn to interpret visual effects; however, much of what is interpreted reflects natural cues that are recognized as part of a larger schema. Mapping the field of representation admits the validity of the different viewpoints and makes an argument for the complexity of visual representation. (Contains 16 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A