The Realistic Angel: Realism as Hypothetical Verity

  • Christopher C Buckman University at Buffalo
Keywords: realism, pictures


My main objective in this paper is to formulate a view of pictorial realism I call ‘hypothetical verity’.  It owes much to John Kulvicki but diverges from his view in an important respect: rather than thinking that realistic pictures are true to our conceptions of things, I hold that they are true to what things would be like if they existed.  In addition, I agree with Dominic Lopes that different realisms reflect different aspects of reality, but restate the case without recourse to symbol systems.  Together, the twin principles of hypothetical verity and aspectival absolutism constitute a theory of realism able to account for realistic fictional entities, the problem of revelatory realism and images that teach new information.