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Abstract

A place is needed for a 'cognitive iconology' within "visual culture." Like Logical Positivism before it, visual culture must reexamine its tacit assumption that conflation of psycho-sociological contributions to visual meaning is an adequate methodology, and that sociologism is a worthwhile overriding philosophy. Cognitive iconology isolates the psychological contribution to the study of images and does not monopolize it but isolates the foundational basis for it on which narrower interpretations must be built. With examples from the work of Titian, it is shown how the cognitive and 'cultural' contributions must work together to make meaning. Using the philosophy of Maurice Mandelbaum, and the example of Rudolf Arnheim and his analysis of visual art, a foundational approach of cognitive iconology to visual culture is sketched.

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