It has also been said: "Magritte [too] was such a precursor."
What does it mean to write across a painting of a pipe "This is not a pipe"? Does Magritte's painting harbor a view about the nature of representation?
Is there a way to interpret the painting so that its apparent paradoxical character can be made to disappear? Or perhaps it is not paradoxical? What do you think?
Does Magritte's painting fit easily or uneasily into Gombrich's analysis of art and illusion? Can it be made to fit? Or does it serve as an implicit criticism of Gombrich's account of pictorial representation.
Danto's desire to distinguish works of art from mere real things and from mere representations may suggest ways to think about Ceci n'est pas une pipe , may give you some ideas. Then again Magritte's painting(s) may call Danto's sense of these matters into question or, at the very least, cast a shadow over the thrust of his argument.
In Ways of Worldmaking Nelson Goodman suggests that we make worlds. Among the worlds we make are the worlds of science and the worlds of art. Goodman is a world-pluralist. Many versions, hence many worlds - all "of independent interest and importance, without any requirement or presumption of reducibility to a single base." Mondrian no less than Einstein gave us new ways of seeing motion and space. Goodman's recipe may make the Magritte more palatable. Then again it may not. Indeed, Magritte may have a thing or two to "say" to Goodman. What do you think?
Back to Philosophy 113B Home Page