Patrick Maynard, Professor Emeritus

Department of Philosophy
University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario
N6A 3K7

(Resident in England since 2008)

Telephone: +44 (0)781 637 8875

Most of my publications and talks concern the nature, function, and perception of pictorial representations and similar expressive forms. They are theoretical, but argued from ‘real world’ engagement with things that matter to people, from the prehistoric to our own times. These discussions not only feature a broad variety of illustrations, but, as 'substantive' philosophy, are typically based on them. They are of interest not only to philosophers but also to artists, art critics and historians.

My teaching subject range is broader than my writing. It is based on philosophical classics (ancient and modern, across all topics), then philosophy of art/aesthetics. I enjoy teaching at all university levels. A US and Canadian citizen, resident in the UK, I am interested in sessional teaching appointments.

(I am a contributor to The Philosophical Lexicon and a member of the Board of The Philosophical Gourmet Report.)

Recently taught courses

Undergraduate courses
Graduate courses


Reference Sources
  1. "Drawing, Painting, and Print-making", in A Companion to Aesthetics: The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2d rev. ed., Robert Hopkins ed. (2009), pp. 82-85, focused on drawing and the physicality of three media.
  2. "Photography", in A Companion to Aesthetics: The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 2d rev. ed., Robert Hopkins ed. (2009), pp. 98-101.
  3. "Photography", The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, B. Gaut and D. M. Lopes, eds. London: Routledge, 2000, pp. 477-490. 2d edn (rev.), 2005, pp. 611-624.
  4. "Photography and Technology," in  Ecyclopedia of Aesthetics. Oxford University Press, 1997: v. 3, pp. 496-499.
  5. "Form", The Dictionary of Art, Grove: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 1996: v. ll, pp. 312-314. 'Doing an Aristotle'—highly compressed attempt to explain what we mean by the ambiguous term "form" in visual arts.
Published books
  1. Drawing Distinctions: The Varieties of Graphic Expression, Cornell U. Press, 2005, ca 290 double-columned pp.,

    Drawing Distinctions cover92 illus.: first philosophy treatise on drawing, explaining the bases of meaning in all kinds of drawings, including technical and informational, design, child, and art drawings—depictive and nondepictive, East and West—engaging cognitive and developmental psychology, philosophy, art history and criticism.

  2. The Engine of Visualization: Thinking Through Photography, Cornell University Press, 1997: ca 330 pp.

    The Engine of Visualization coverFirst philosophy treatise on photography, analytic in approach but sensitive to photo-history, not confined to aesthetics or art (illus.), Walker Evans photo on cover. Papercover printing, Dec. 2000.

  3. Guest ed., "Perspectives on the Arts and Technology", a special issue of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 55 (Spring 1997): ca 135 double-columned pages of original papers by ten authors, about digitalization, music, cinema and photography, fine and mass art (illus).

  4. ed. with Susan Feagin, Aesthetics, Oxford University Press Reader, 1997

    Aesthetics coverca 420 pp., 57 carefully edited selections, including, besides classic and contemporary philosophical studies, cross-cultural studies, focused on topics of value (illus.)

  5. ed. with B. Freed and A. Marras, Forms of Representation, North-Holland, American Elsevier, 1975: 245 pp., interactive papers by Bennett, Cornman, Dretske, Harman, Ishiguro, Pears, Rozeboom, Schwayder, Sellars, Stampe, Strawson, Unger from 1972 conference.
  6. ed. with Glenn Pearce, Conceptual Change, Reidel, 1973: ca 280 pp., thirteen original papers and extensive bibliography, based on 1970 conference: still available from Kluwer.

Forthcoming essay on contemporary drawing for special drawing issue of Rivista di Estetica, Roberto Casati, ed.

Forthcoming essay for A. Meskin & R. T. Cook, eds, The Art of Comics and Graphic Novels: A Philosophical Approach (Wiley-Blackwell).

  1. "Scales of Space and Time in Photography: Perception Points Two Ways", Philosophy and Photography, Scott Walden, ed. Blackwells, 2008: 7K words (illus). Combining ideas of perceptual psychologists J.J. Gibson and J.E. Cutting, moving on to answer the arguments of the "Naysayers" against autonomous and artistic meaning in photographs.
  2. "Can Seeing Be an Art Really?" (joint interview with Kendall Walton), Richard West, Source (Belfast) 53 (Winter 2007): 38-41 (illus.).
  3. "Portraits as Displays", Philosophical Studies 135.1 (August 2007), from 2006 Oberlin Colloquium in Philosophy: 111-121, 4K words (illus). Online access:
  4. "We Can't, eh, Professors?: Photo Aporia", in The Art Seminar: Photography Theory, James Elkins, ed. London: Routledge, 2006, pp.
  5. "Pictures of Perspective: Theory or Therapy?", in Looking into Pictures, Heiko Hecht, Margaret Atherton & Robert Schwartz, eds. MIT Press, 2003, pp. 191-211 (illus.). Pointing out standard fallacies about perspective, then challenging widespread assumption that satisfactory understanding of depiction in any medium can be reached by theories of spatial--or any other kind of--visual perception.
  6. "Drawings as Drawn: An Approach to Creativity in an Art", in The Creation of Art, Berys Gaut & Paisley Livingston, eds. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 53-88 (illus.). To explain creativity in drawing, antecedent question of how depictive drawings are made and understood is carefully addressed, with new analytic tools (focused on a New Yorker cartoon about creativity): 7K words.
  7. "The Time It Takes", in The Graphic Novel, Jan Baetens, ed. Leuven: Leuven Univ. Press, 2001 (distrib. Cornell University Press), pp. 191-210. Concerns photography and time as duration, sequence, equability, past and present (illus.).
  8. "'What Will Surprise You Most': Self-Regulating Systems and Problems of Correct Use in Plato's Republic", Journal of the History of Philosophy (January 2000): 1-26. Reinterpretation of the central part of Republic in terms of Plato's preoccupation with the problem of misuse of good things. Online access via:
  9. "Drawing Distinctions I: The First Projects", Philosophical Topics 25.1 (Spring 1997): 231-253. Introduces philosophers to John Willats' effective new way to describe pictures of things, stressing 'topological'-space values in pictures, vs psychology's projective tendencies (illus).
  10. "Perspective's Places", JAAC 54.1 (Winter, 1996): 23-40. On the occasion of the "Circa 1492" exhibit, attempt to dispel five-hundred years' confusion about what pictorial perspective is and does for us; incl. original accounts of Panofsky and of Durer (illus.).
  11. "Sparshott's Dance Perspective", Proceedings: Society of Dance Scholars (1995): 161-163.
  12. "Seeing Double", JAAC 52.2 (Spring 1994): 156-167.  Formulation of and attempt to solve basic question about pictorial perception for psychologists, philosophers, artists &c., by reviewing and consolidating recent advances.
  13. "Photo-Opportunity", Canadian Review of American Studies 22.3 (Winter 1991): 501-528. Rev. of literature and independent essay, winner of 1991 award for paper that "best exemplifies the discipline of American Studies."
  14. "Real Imagining", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51.2 (June 1991): 389-394. From Walton symposium issue.
  15. "The Engine of Visualisation", Canadian Journal of Rhetorical Studies 1 (September 1991): 73-89.
  16. "Talbot's Technologies: Photographic Depiction, Detection, and Reproduction", JAAC 47.3 (Summer 1989): 263-276. Allegedly reprinted in Lettera Internazionale (Rome); sole philosophy publication in photo sesquicentennial year.
  17. "Comments on Halverson, 'Art for Art's Sake in the Paleolithic'", Current Anthropology 28.1 (1987): 81.
  18. "Comments on W. Davis, 'The Origins of Image Making'", Current Anthropology 27.3 (June 1986): 206f.
  19. "Drawing and Shooting", JAAC 44 (Winter 1985): 115-129, about photography (illus). JSTOR access:
Book Reviews
  1. review of Cretien van Campen, The Hidden Sense: Synesthesia in Art and Science, in Art Bulletin 91, no. 3 (September 2009): 385-388 (triple column). Discusses book's theses within wider contexts of recent writings on synaesthesia and neuroscience approaches to consciousness.
  2. review of James Cutting, The Impressionist Canon, in JAAC 65.4 (Fall 2007): 441-443. Available online:
  3. review of David Rosand, Drawing Acts: Studies in Graphic Expression and Representation, in JAAC 63.1 (Winter 2005): 81f.
  4. review of Barbara Savedoff, Transforming Images: How Photography Complicates the Picture, in Modernism and Modernity 8.2 (April 2001): 338-340.
  5. review of Marianne Hirsch, Family Frames: Photography, Narrative, and Postmemory, in Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 22.1 (Winter 1999): 118-121.
  6. review of Hubert Damisch, The Origin of Perspective, in JAAC 55.1 (Winter 1997): 84f
  7. review of Erwin Panofsky, Perspective as Symbolic Form (transl. C.S. Wood), and Martin Kemp, The Science of Art, in JAAC 52.2 (Winter 1997): 84f. 21.
  8. review of Richard Bolton (ed.), The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, in JAAC 50.1 (Winter 1992): 68-71. Editors' errata: JAAC 52.2 (Spring 1994): 167.
  9. review of J. Kirk Varnedoe, A Fine Disregard: What Makes Modern Art Modern, in JAAC 49.4 (Fall 1991): 390-392.
  10. "Ravishing Atrocities": rev. of Michael Fried, Realism, Writing, Disfiguration: On Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane and W.J.T. Mitchell, Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology, in The London Review of Books 10.1 (January 7, 1988): 17f.
  11. review of Flint Schier, Deeper into Pictures, in Word and Image 3.4 (October-December 1987): 325f.
  12. "A Legacy of Light": rev. Ansel Adams, Ansel Adams: An Autobiography and Mark Klett, Travels in the Desert Southwest, in Canadian Review of American Studies 18.1 (Spring 1987):127-131.


  1. forthcoming talk at Department of Philosophy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK: 11 November 2009.
  2. "What's So Funny?", invited address to London Aesthetics Forum, University College, University of London, 26 March 2009.
  3. "Darwin's Diagrams", invited address to "Images and Diagrammatic Reasoning" seminar, Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris, France, 6 March 2009. Available online at Institut Nicod, Valeria Giardino, "Data Based Reasoning" site:
  1. "Hands-On Digital: A Photographic Dialogue", Universities of Warwick and Essex interdisciplinary invited workshop, "Photography as a Medium (Post-Digitalisation)", University of London, London; 21-22 November 2008.
  2. Respondent to three papers on "Seeing Pictures", American Society for Aesthetics 66th Annual Meeting, Northampton, Massachusetts: 8 November 2008.
  3. "Drawing from Nature: Forms for Designing a Different World", keynote address, College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, "We Have Never Been Pre-Disciplinary", 24th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, 14 March 2008. Poster:
  1. "Hipshooting: Regarding Photography's Functions and Its Arts", University of Kent (Canterbury), invited workshop presentation at "Kendall Walton and the Aesthetics of Photography and Film": 31 November 2007.
  2. "Artifacts for Imagining", invited address at "Imagination, Expression and Depiction" workshop, Department of Philosophy, Fribourg University, Fribourg, Switzerland (supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation): 4 October 2007.
  3. Invited participant "The Future of Beauty" lectures, Northrop Frye Lecture Hall, Victoria College, University of Toronto: 4 May 2007.
  4. "Drawing's Lessons", invited address at "Visualization in Scientific Practice" interdisciplinary symposium, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Victoria College, University of Toronto: 28 April 2007.
  5. "Patrick Maynard on Drawing Distinctions", invited Artswego public lecture, SUNY-Oswego, Oswego, New York: 11 April 2007.
  6. "Artifacts and Internalist Aesthetics", invited "Author Meets Critics" session on D. Lopes, Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures, American Society for Aesthetics Pacific Division Meeting, Pacific Grove, California: 29 March 2007.
  7. "Depictions as Artifacts", invited University of Warwick workshop presentation, "Understanding Pictures and Perception: Issues in Art History, Psychology, and Philosophy", Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice: 20 March 2007.
  1. "We Begin, Drawing", keynote address for "To Draw (or Not): An Exploration of Drawing in the Creative Process" artists' symposium, Fine Arts Department, University of Waterloo, Ontario: 4 October 2006.
  2. "Depiction as Depiction", Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University: April 2006. Variant also at "Perception Then and Now" conference, Department of Philosophy, University of Western Ontario: April 2005.
  3. "Portrayal as Display", response to Cynthia Freeland, 2006 Oberlin Colloquium in Philosophy, Oberlin: April 2006.
  1. "Wabi-Sabi Saint Jerome?: Spatial Categories in Pictures East and West", Institute for the Humanities and Department of Art History invited lecture, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: September 24, 2004.
  2. "The Visual in Depiction: A Cautionary Tale of Cognitive and Other Sciences", Department of Philosophy: Aesthetics Discussion Group, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: September 23, 2004.
  1. "Drawing Distinctions: A Toolkit Approach" (with commentators), American Society for Aesthetics annual meetings, San Francisco: October 2, 2003.
  2. "Plato's Republic and Ours", University of Western Ontario Philosophy colloquium, November 8, 2002.
  3. "Spaced Out: Scales of Time and Space in Photography", at "The Light Symposium" photography conference, The Studio, Saint John's, Newfoundland: September 28, 2002.
  1. "Pictures of Perspective: Theory or Therapy?", invited paper at ZIF: Center for Interdisciplinary Research conference, "Reconceiving Pictorial Space?", Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany: June 13-17, 2000.
  2. "Praising Shadows", at "Science or Accident", panel discussion for "Tracing Shadows" exhibition, Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto: May 27, 2000 (part of "Contact 2000" Toronto photographic festival).
  3. "On Not Discouraging Creativity", at "Creation of Art" conference, Department of Philosophy, Aarhus Univesitet, Aarhus, Denmark: May 17, 2000.
  4. "The Time It Takes": keynote address, "Graphic Novel" conference, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium: May 13, 2000.
  5. "Working Drawings", comment on J. Kulvicki, American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meetings, Chicago: April 21, 2000.
  1. "Second Lookers: Technologies of Depiction and Art", Aesthetics and Technology Seminar (Centre for Philosophy, Technology and Society: Scots Philosophical Club; British Society for Aesthetics in Scotland), Department of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen: May 14, 1999.
  2. "Art *and* Technology", invited Faculty of Arts and Sciences address, with interdepartmental panel, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan: March 14, 1997.
  3. "Drawing Distinctions: Photography and Drawing", with commentators, American Philosophical Association, Atlanta: December 27, 1996.
  4. "Sparshott's Dance Perspective", panel presentation at 1995 meetings of the Society of Dance History Scholars (and Association for Dance in Universities and Colleges of Canada).
  5. "In Praise of Shadows: Penumbral Pleasures", Philosophy Aesthetics Group, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: April 20, 1995.
  6. "Perspectives Places", Departments of Philosophy and Art History, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor: January 28, 1994.
Last updated 1 September, 2009