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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Illusion in the commonplace: Reinterpreting Ernst Gombrich's concept of illusion
by Auyer, Jonathan P., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2013, 272; 3565358
Abstract (Summary)

In the dissertation I analyze and interpret Ernst Gombrich's book Art and Illusion, focusing on his view that illusion is involved in pictorial representation. Since Gombrich never gave a concise, systematic account of illusion, my goal will be to fill this void by using the text of Art and Illusion as well as Gombrich's subsequent writings in order to present a coherent account of how illusion might play a role in a picture's representing an object.

My goal is not to present an unassailable account of pictorial representation. Instead, I offer a version of Gombrich's theory that pushes readers towards a better comprehension of what a Gombrichian theory of illusion involves. In the process I introduce and defend a number of terms and concepts in the service of filling in those places where Gombrich is silent. Among other things, in response to Gombrich's notion of visual substitution I elaborate upon the claims that representational pictures function as relational models and afford recognition of the objects they represent; I reply to Richard Wollheim's "twofoldness" objection to Gombrich; and I contend that Gombrich's use of the notion of illusion is not open to the objections commonly made against it (e.g., that normal picture perception does not involve illusion because "illusion" is synonymous with "delusion").

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Howell, Robert
Commitee: D'Cruz, Jason, McClamrock, Ron
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Philosophy
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Aesthetics
Keywords: Gombrich, Ernst, Illusion, Philosophy of art, Pictorial representation
Publication Number: 3565358
ISBN: 978-1-303-15056-2
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