Dominic McIver Lopes, The Domain of Depiction, in Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, ed. Matthew Kieran (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
Pictorial representation, is a type of representation – this is one of the few bedrock truths approved by all philosophers who have worked up opinions on the matter. Another is that depiction has something to do with resemblance – nobody denies that either. But little effort is needed to locate a philosopher or art theorist who has given a respectable reason to deny any additional claim about depiction, however obvious, that does not follow directly from one of the two bedrock truths. Thus it is tempting to put the two bedrock truths in relation to one another by taking resemblance to explain the kind of representation found in pictures. Yet some philosophers object to this move: they accept both bedrock truths but refuse to use the second to understand the first. The point of contention is not whether pictures have to do with resemblance but whether this truth helps us to understand the kind of representation found in pictures.