Photography and the Gaze: The Ethics of Vision Inverted

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    It can not be denied that our age is the epoch of the photograph: we are surrounded by photographic images in our living rooms, in the streets, in our places of work and in our places of leisure. And yet, the photographic image was generally ignored by most major twentieth century philosophers working in phenomenology. Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Lacan and Levinas all choose examples of paintings rather than photographs to illustrate, and/or ground, their arguments on issues of visual perception, aesthetic, ethics and politics. It is surprising and disturbing that despite the fact that these philosophers were all exposed to an ever increasing number of disturbing and difficult photographic images, often raising philosophical issues relevant to their own work, they chose to ignore discussions of such photographs in their philosophical work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-93
    Number of pages15
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2008


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