Mona Lisa Visual Analysis

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In light of John Searle’s claim that the Background plays an important role in determining the content of a visual perception, two people can view the same Mona Lisa painting and have non-identical visual experiences. Even if they have equal mental and physical functions, are equally distanced from the painting, and are standing in the same angle in respect to the painting, the visual experience for two people is unique to each individual because the ability to interpret and generate meaning differs from individual to individual. Hence, the same object can cause two different visual experiences depending on one’s own Background.
According to Searle, the Background is a set of “know-hows,” of knowing how things are and how to do things, that
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The Mona Lisa oil painting is not type-identical to itself, but token-identical to itself. Although there can be posters and stamps of the Mona Lisa, the oil painting is not token-identical to posters and stamps, and it is certainly not token-identical to a copy of the Mona Lisa painted by someone other than Leonardo da Vinci. Assuming that two people are viewing the Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo da Vinci, we can say that the object of their visual perception is token-identical. However, their visual experiences are still non-identical because Intentional states not only depend on the deep Background, but also the local cultural Background. Hence, while both individuals may have equally functioning capacities of aesthetic vision, the meaning they generate of the painting depends on one’s unique life experiences and local cultural practices.
In other words, the visual experience of the Mona Lisa painting is ontologically subjective. The painting itself is ontologically subjective as well. Not only was the painting created by a human being, Leonardo da Vinci, but its aesthetic status as an artwork now depends on us humans to ascribe meaning and value upon it. In regards to generating meaning and value of the painting, the visual experience is ontologically subjective. This is especially the case for aesthetic vision, where
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Put more realistically, going to the museum to see a painting alone with strangers viewing the same painting, is different from, going to the museum to see a painting with a close friend or family after prior planning and scheduling. Nonetheless, either alone or as “we,” two people cannot have a token-identical visual experience because the local cultural Background and the Network (of beliefs, desires, etc.) each individual possesses is particular to that

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