Between Goodman’s Theory of Representation and Phenomenology
Nelson Goodman’s Languages of Art, one of the most cited and commented publications in theory of art, deals with various questions, including the question whether a piece of art can realistically portray reality. Goodman suggests that it cannot, since a reliable criterion of “imitation” is not to be found. This statement leads to a certain type of relativism and social constructivism, which then find their expression also in philosophy of language. The aim of my paper is to problematize some of Goodman’s starting points, and from the view of phenomenology to assess the problems associated with the so-called “innocent eye”, corporeality, and the constitution of object sense. It turns out that the problem of imitation can be approached in a different way and that there is no need to reject the possibility of realistic picturing.