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Reading: The Idea of a Universal Bildwissenschaft


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Research Article

The Idea of a Universal Bildwissenschaft


Jason Gaiger

The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, 74 High Street, Oxford, OX1 4BG, GB
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The emergence of Bildwissenschaft (image science) as a new interdisciplinary formation that is intended to encompass all images calls for an analysis of the grounds on which the claim to universality can be upheld. I argue that whereas the lifting of scope restrictions imposes only a weak universality requirement, the identification of features that belong to the entire class of entities that are categorized as images imposes a strong universality requirement. Reflection on this issue brings into focus the distinctive character of Bildwissenschaft and the features that distinguish it not only from other related disciplines such as art history and visual studies, but also from recent work in the philosophy of the image.
How to Cite: Gaiger, Jason. “The Idea of a Universal bildwissenschaft”. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 51, no. 2 (2014): 208–29. DOI:
Published on 25 Nov 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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