Philosophy of Photography

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-07-30
  • Publisher: Leuven Univ Pr

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Lieven Gevaert Series 6 Henri Van Lier's contribution to the field of photography is comparable in its scope and achievements to the work of those thinkers who have been most useful to our understanding of the art form: Walter Benjamin, Andre Bazin, Andre Malraux, John Berger, Susan Sontag, and Roland Barthes. The English publication of Philosophy of Photography will bring Van Lier into the spotlight. In his profoundly original and innovative reflection on the medium, Van Lier takes note of photography's formal peculiarities and its position and function in human and social life. Van Lier combines an acute sense of detail with an extremely broad interest in the meaning of the medium for humanity. Van Lier founded a discipline he calls anthropogeny, which is the historical study of the gradual emergence of what makes us human; in his view, photography has a large role to play in the process. Van Lier gathers a wide range of disciplinary insights and questions from semiotics, history, aesthetics, and, philosophy. This new English translation contains a folio of photographs taken by sixteen contemporary photographers, representing both an homage to the author of Philosophy of Photography and a timely demonstration of the utility of his ideas. Each of the photographers suggest in his or her own image(s) the echoes created by specific points of Van Lier's work in the mind, the eyes, and the hands of contemporary readers and viewers. Philosophy of Photography is not only a showcase for Van Lier's keen intelligence but also a work of art in its own right.

Table of Contents

What We Can Learn from Henri Van Lierp. 6
Towards a Philosophy Instigated by Photographyp. 9
The Texture and Structure of the Photographp. 11
The Abstractive Imprintp. 14
Indices and Indexesp. 17
Field Effects Before Denotations and Connotationsp. 21
The Non-Scene: On the Obscene in Stimuli-Signs and Figuresp. 28
Reproduction and Transmutability: Process and Relayp. 32
Reality and the Realp. 36
The Triggering of Mental Schemasp. 39
Types Differing from Black and Whitep. 47
Photographic Initiativesp. 53
The Initiative of Industrial Technologyp. 54
The Initiative of Naturep. 59
The Initiative of the Spectacle: Photogenicityp. 62
The Initiative of the Photographer: Trap and Switch Mediumismp. 71
Photographic Behaviorsp. 77
Pragmatic Behaviorsp. 79
Artistic Behaviorsp. 95
Scientific, Documentary and Testimonial Behaviorsp. 103
Postscript: New Theoretical Perspectivesp. 107
Peirce and Photographyp. 117
Photographersp. 124
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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