Marvelous Images: On Values and the Arts
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The twelve essays by Kendall Walton in this volume address a broad range of theoretical issues concerning the arts. Many of them apply to the arts generally-to literature, theater, film, music, and the visual arts-but several focus primarily on pictorial representation or photography. In "'How Marvelous!': Toward a Theory of Aesthetic Value" Walton introduces an innovative account of aesthetic value, and in this and other essays he explores relations between aesthetic value and values of other kinds, especially moral values. Two of the essays take on what has come to be called imaginative resistance-a cluster of puzzles that arise when works of fiction ask us to imagine or to accept as true in a fiction moral propositions that we find reprehensible in real life. "Transparent Pictures", Walton's classic and controversial account of what is special about photographic pictures, is included, along with a new essay on a curious but rarely noticed feature of photographs and other still pictures-the fact that a depiction of a momentary state of an object in motion allows viewers to observe that state, in imagination, for an extended period of time. Two older essays round out the collection-another classic, "Categories of Art", and a less well known essay, "Style and the Products and Processes of Art", which examines the role of appreciators' impressions of how a work of art came about, in understanding and appreciation. None of the reprinted essays is abridged, and new postscripts have been added to several of them.
(e.g., cognitive) values and for their aesthetic value, and also of admiring people for the achievement of difﬁcult even if arbitrary objectives. And there is more variety to come. I suggest replacing “admiration” with a family of related terms. What will remain is at least this: that aesthetic pleasure consists in pleasure taken not just in an object or person itself, but in an attitude one has toward an object or person, the attitude being either admiration or something else. Sometimes our
that slavery is not evil. 18. “We are not interested in the fortunes and sentiments of such rough heroes: . . . And . . . we cannot prevail on ourselves to . . . bear an affection to characters, which we plainly discover to be blameable.” Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste,” p. 246. 42 A E S T H E T I C A N D M O R A L VA L U E S Where do we stand in the attempt to ﬁnd something special about our reaction to moral ideas that we disagree with in works of art? Our reluctance to allow moral
outside. Maybe cartoon characters can get into pictures. The character in ﬁgure 5.3 does. Cartoon characters are not always bound by the laws of logic and metaphysics. But logic or metaphysics seems to bar real people like you and me from entering picture worlds. 68 P I C T U R E S A N D P H OTO G R A P H S Figure 5.3 Mischa Richter. © The New Yorker Collection 1965. From cartoonbank. com. All rights reserved. But wait! How did the ship get into Stanﬁeld’s picture? Maybe I can get in by the
our conceptual scheme. We might recognize such properties as apparent-via-description-generating-devices houseness and apparent-via-description-generating-devices hearseness and regard these properties as analogous to visible colors, as characteristics of things themselves in virtue of which they can be alike, not just as capacities to affect us through the devices. In that case difﬁculty of discrimination by means of description-generating devices would be correlated with what we think of as
In attributing this special kind of realism to them I was not aiming to explain the supposed value of photographic evidence. A contrary impression may have been derived, on hasty reading, from my observation early in “Transparent Pictures” that photographs are commonly thought to be superior to other pictures as sources of information. And I did argue that the way photographs inform viewers about photographed objects, when they do, is different from the way other pictures inform viewers about