Seeing as

15 June, 2018

A concept of considerable importance in the study of perception, of representation and expression in the arts, and of metaphor, whose explication affords many difficulties, is that of seeing as. Since Wittgenstein introduced this concept into analytic philosophy it has been fruitfully employed in work on aesthetics, but it has received surprisingly little attention for its own sake in recent philosophical discussion, and its importance for topics outside aesthetics has not been sufficiently emphasized).

In this essay I want to give for seeing as statements a formal representation using the techniques of semantic interpretation which Jaakko Hintikka has developed and applied to perceptual statements in a recent series of papers. This amounts to giving truth-conditions for seeing as statements. When this is done, the main features of the logical behavior of seeing as statements become clear, and interesting consequences follow concerning visual recognition, visual perception, metaphor, and pictorial representation.