The New Philosophy of Photography, 13-14 February 2015

Wednesday 10 December 2014


The New Philosophy of Photography

Fri 13 – Sat 14 February 2015, 09:30 - 18:00, Room 349, Senate House

James Welling, Glass House 9818 (2009)
Image © James Welling, courtesy of the artist 

A collaboration between the London Aesthetics Forum and the Centre for Research in Philosophy, Literature and the Arts at the University of Warwick.

This workshop brings together philosophers and theorists from the UK, USA, Canada, France, Belgium and Germany to discuss recent developments in the philosophy of photography. Over the last few years, philosophers have belatedly begun to consider the challenge that artists’ use of photography may present for standard philosophical conceptions of photography as a ‘purely causal’ process ensuring ‘belief independent feature tracking’ or ‘natural counter-factual dependence’ of photographs on what they are photographs of. These challenges can no longer be accommodated by ad hoc extensions to existing theories, or by treating artistic uses of photography as a special case. Moreover, it is not only philosophy that is implicated by taking photographic art seriously: such core art theoretical notions as ‘indexicality’ are similarly put into question. This workshop considers philosophers’ attempts to address such problems to date, and asks whether a fundamental re-conception of the field is now required.

Attendance is free but requires advance registration. Please do so at: 

Confirmed speakers

Paloma Atencia-Linares, Lecturer in Philosophy & History of Art, University of Kent

Laure Blanc-Benon, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Université Paris-Sorbonne

Diarmuid Costello, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick

Dominic McIver Lopes, Distinguished University Scholar & Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia

Bence Nanay, Professor of Philosophy and BOF Research Professor, Centre for Philosophical Psychology, University of Antwerp

Charles Palermo, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Film and Media Studies, College of William and Mary

Martin Seel, Professor für Philosophie, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Dawn M Wilson, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Hull

Provisional programme

Friday 13 February:

09.30-10.00: Tea & Coffee

10.00 Welcome

10.10-11.40: Diarmuid Costello, ‘What’s So New about the “New” Philosophy of Photography?’

11.40-1.10: Dominic McIver Lopes, ‘Abstract Photography’

1.10-2.30: Lunch (own arrangements for non-speakers)

2.30-4.00: Laure Blanc-Benon, ‘Black & White versus Colour: An Issue for the Philosophy of Photography’

4-4.30: Tea & Coffee

Speaker 4.30-6.00: Bence Nanay, ‘Two-Dimensional versus Three-Dimensional Pictorial Organization in Photographs’

Saturday 14 February:

09.30-10.00: Tea & Coffee

10-11.30: Dawn M. Wilson, ‘Composing, Conducting, Performing, Improvising and Sampling: Photographers Creating Art’

11.30-1.00: Paloma Atencia Linares, ‘Photographic Communication beyond Grice’

1.00-2.00: Lunch (own arrangements for non-speakers)

2.00-3.30: Charles Palermo, ‘Standing a Round: Photography, Agency and Money’

3.30-4: Tea & Coffee

4.00-5.30: Martin Seel, ‘Three Pairs of Pictures (and an Encore)’

5.30-6.30: Concluding roundtable

Supported by British Society of Aesthetics.