Truth and Photographs
A really interesting essay on truth and photographs:
In discussing truth and photography, we are asking whether a caption or a belief -- whether a statement about a photograph -- is true or false about (the things depicted in) the photograph. A caption is like a statement. It trumpets the claim, "This is the Lusitania." And when we wonder "Is this a photograph of the Lusitania?" we are wondering whether the claim is true or false. The issue of the truth or falsity of a photograph is only meaningful with respect to statements about the photograph. Truth or falsity "adheres" not to the photograph itself but to the statements we make about a photograph. Depending on the statements, our answers change. All alone -- shorn of context, without captions -- a photograph is neither true nor false.
Posted on July 24, 2007 at 1:52 PM • 50 Comments