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Capturing shadows : on photography, causation, and absences
Australasian Journal of Philosophy
  • Carl Mikael PETTERSSON, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
  • photography,
  • causation,
  • shadows,
  • absences
Many photographs seem to be images of absences: for instance, a photograph of a shadow seems to be an image of an absence, as shadows are plausibly thought of as being absences of light. Absence photography is puzzling, however, as, first, it is a common idea that photographs can only be images of things that have caused them, and, second, it is unclear whether absences can cause anything. In this paper, I look at various ways to unravel the puzzle. Along the way, I also hope to cast some light on the idea that photography is a causal medium.
Funding Information
The research has received funding from The Swedish Research Council [Dnr 350-2012-6582]. {Dnr 350-2012-6582}
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2016 Australasian Association of Philosophy. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.
Additional Information
Ancestors of this paper were presented at The London Aesthetics Forum; at the universities of Uppsala, Glasgow, Stockholm, and Lingnan; and at the workshop ‘Philosophy and Photography’ in Ovronnaz.
Full-text Version
Publisher’s Version
Citation Information
Pettersson, M. (2016). Capturing shadows: On photography, causation, and absences. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 95(2), 256-269. doi: 10.1080/00048402.2016.1197957