Institut Jean Nicod

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Iconicity. II

Jérôme Dokic, directeur d’études de l’EHESS ( IJN )

programme actualisé sur le site de l’EHESS

Cet enseignant est référent pour cette UE

Mardi de 15 h à 17 h (salle AS1_08, 54 bd Raspail 75006 Paris), du 6 mars 2018 au 19 juin 2018.

Les séances des 12 et 5 juin se dérouleront en salle AS1_24

In coordination with Roberto Casati’s homonymous seminar, we will have in the Spring 2018 the privilege of hosting six prominent specialists of the philosophy of pictorial representation : Catharine Abell (Manchester), Katerina Bantinaki (Crete), John Kulvicki (Dartmouth College), Achille Varzi (Columbia University), Alberto Voltolini (Turin) and John Zeimbekis (Patras). We shall work towards making the seminar a consensus conference about the question of iconicity.

In this seminar, we will tackle issues related to the nature of iconicity. Among them are the following :

What makes something a picture ? Can any material object act as a picture if it is cognitively processed in the right way ? What are the material constraints that an object must answer to count as a picture ?
Are there limits to what can be represented in a picture ?
Is the notion of a picture a visual notion ? Are there non-visual (e.g., auditory or tactile) pictures ? Even if there are, is the notion of visual picture somehow more fundamental ?
What are the cognitive processes involved in seeing a picture as such ? Does the distinction between “seeing as” and “seeing in” correspond to different sets of cognitive processes ?
Seeing a picture as such does not involve the same sensorimotor contingencies as those involved in ordinary perception (for instance, what is seen in a picture is not usually sensitive to one’s change of position relative to the picture). But what are the prospects of a sensorimotor or enactive approach to picture perception ?
It is often said that what is seen in a picture is not felt as present. What is the notion of presence at stake here ? Is there a feeling of non-presence or absence that is specific to pictures ?
What is the relationship between pictures and fictions ? Are there fictional pictures ? Are there pictorial markers of fiction ?
What is the epistemic function of pictures ? Can we distinguish between, e.g., photography and painting on the basis of the epistemic status of the relevant pictures ?
How should we apply the notions of style and narration to pictures ? Are some pictures non-linguistic narratives ?



12 juin : Catharine Abell (Université de Manchester, directrice d’études invitée à l’EHESS), “Reasoning about Representational Relevance”

19 juin : Catharine Abell (Université de Manchester, directrice d’études invitée à l’EHESS), “The Norms of Realism for Pictorial Narratives”



Workshop on Depiction

Tuesday 26 June and Wednesday 27 June

Salle Ribot and Salle Séminaire du DEC, 29 rue d’Ulm



Séances passées

6 mars : "A crash course in theories of depiction"

13 mars : John Kulvicki (Darmouth College & Institut d’Études Avancées, Paris), “Character, content, and reference in pictures”

20 mars : John Kulvicki (Darmouth College & Institut d’Études Avancées, Paris) “Individuals and pictorial content”

27 mars : "Imagination and seeing-in" - Attention : cette séance est annulée.

3 avril : Enrico Terrone (IJN) "The Standard of Correctness and the Ontology of Depiction"


I shall develop Richard Wollheim’s claim that the proper appreciation of a picture involves not only enjoying a seeing-in experience but also abiding by a standard of correctness. Scholars in the philosophy of depiction have so far focused on the distinction between standards fixed by intentions and standards fixed by causal mechanisms. Yet, I shall argue, there is a more fundamental distinction concerning the standard of correctness, namely, that between a kind-standard, an individual-standard, and standpoint-standard. I shall argue that the kind-standard and the individual-standard can be relevant also to ordinary perception, whereas the standpoint-standard is specific to the pictorial experience. I shall illustrate the explanatory power of these notions by considering Van Gogh’s painting “Shoes” (1886). Finally, I shall generalize my results thereby proposing an ontology of depiction according to which a picture is constituted by both its visual appearance and its standard of correctness.

10 avril : "Pictures and emotions"

15 mai : "Affordances in pictures"

22 mai : Katerina Bantinaki (Université de Crète, directrice d’études invitee à l’EHESS) “The nature of the photographic image : between agency and automatism”

29 mai : Katerina Bantinaki (Université de Crète, directrice d’études invitée à l’EHESS), “On Narrative Pictures”

The topic of this lecture is the capacity of single static pictures to have narrative content. Skepticism about this capacity revolves around the idea that such pictures are confined to the spatio-temporal fragment. My aim is to show that the skeptic’s argument is misguided : not because the skeptic did not acknowledge that pictures can depict action (this often-cited argument, I will argue, has no force) ; but because s/he failed to acknowledge that that even through the spatio-temporal fragment – i.e. the appearance of things in space and the overall choices of composition - a picture can convey narrative connections and thus sustain narrative engagement in a prescribed manner.

5 Juin : Katerina Bantinaki (Université de Crète, directrice d’études invitée à l’EHESS), “Stylistic Deformity and Pictorial Experience”

In this lecture I will provide an account of the experience of stylistic deformity in the context of competent pictorial seeing. Siding with John Brown’s recent account of pictorial seeing, I will argue that stylistic deformity needs to figure in the recognitional aspect of pictorial seeing, if the experience is to rightly capture its intended expressive function. Further I will argue, against Brown, that the proper way of experiencing it is not the way of ‘separation seeing-in’ and thus it is not a way that supports a rigid separation between pictorial content and the content of pictorial seeing. Drawing a parallel with ordinary expressive perception, I will claim that stylistic deviant formal properties have to figure in our awareness as salient properties of the subject, but as indicative of emotion, character or thought, rather than as brute deformities.


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Dernière modification de cette fiche par le service des enseignements ( : 29 septembre 2017.