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Four Arts of Photography: An Essay in Philosophy




Four Arts of Photography: An Essay in Philosophy

Dominic McIver Lopes

ISBN: 978-1-119-05329-3 January 2016 200 Pages


Four Arts of Photography explores the history of photography through the lens of philosophy and proposes a new scholarly understanding of the art form for the 21st century.

  • Re-examines the history of art photography through four major photographic movements and with case studies of representative images
  • Employs a top-down, theory to case approach, as well as a bottom-up, case to theory approach
  • Advances a new theory regarding the nature of photography that is grounded in technology but doesn’t place it in opposition to painting
  • Includes commentaries by two leading philosophers of photography, Diarmuid Costello and Cynthia A. Freeland
List of Illustrations xi

Notes on Author and Contributors xii

Preface xiii

Wonderment to Puzzlement 1

How to Do Things with Theory 17

To Possess Other Eyes: The First Art 36

Thinking Through Photographs: The Second Art 48

A New Theory of Photography 65

Lyricism: The Third Art 87

The Knowing Eye 105

Abstraction: The Fourth Art 114

Crosscurrents and Boundary Conditions 125

Appendix: The Skeptic’s Argument 133


Doing Justice to the Art in Photography 135
Diarmuid Costello

Four Thoughts about Four Arts of Photography 147
Cynthia A. Freeland

Notes 157

Index 174