Santayana's Missing Pages: Learning by Recollecting How We Use Photographs
Cameron, Evan Wm.
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Sometime between 1900 and 1907 George Santayana addressed the Harvard Camera Club on 'Photography and the Mental Image', noting that his remarks seemed to him 'of some importance'. They were indeed, for his talk marked the first time that a philosopher of artistic sensibility had drawn attention to how the photographical arts of reappearance, filmmaking among them, are distinguished from others. Santayana's manuscript of his talk remained unpublished until 1967, and few are aware of how prescient was his commentary and how provocative his refusal to publish it. I summarise what he said but only to concentrate better upon how he said it, for how he arrived at his conclusions, foreshadowing the aims and methods of Collingwood, Austin and Wittgenstein, is as remarkable today as when he did it over a century ago.
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