UCLA, Dept. of Philosophy
321 Dodd Hall
405 Hilgard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90095
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at UCLA.

I study iconic representation and computational approaches to the mind.

Recent work

Iconic and symbolic representation

The Iconic-Symbolic Spectrum (Philosophical Review, 132:4, 2023)

A theory of iconic and symbolic representation.

Varieties of Iconicity (with Valeria Giardino, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 6:1, 2015)

Contents of perception

The Structure of Visual Content (under review)

A structured theory of visual content, in which clusters of objects and properties populate direction-filled visual arrays.

Visual Objects (in progress)

Visual singular contents are intentional objects, not concrete referents or perceptual modes of presentation.

Semantics of pictures and maps

Map Semantics and the Geography of Meaning (Handbook of Applied Philosophy of Language, eds. Luvell Anderson and Ernie Lepore, 2022, forthcoming, OUP)

Review of Modeling the Meanings of Pictures (Philosophical Review, forthcoming)

Semantics of Pictorial Space (Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 2021)

Tagging: Semantics at the Iconic/Symbolic Interface (Proceedings of the 22nd Amsterdam Colloquium, invited talk, 2019)

Content and Target in Pictorial Representation (Ergo 5:33, 2018)

Beyond Resemblance (Philosophical Review 122:2, 2013)

An extended argument against resemblance-based theories of depiction, and in favor of a projection-based approach.

Film as discourse

Spatial Coherence in Narrative Film (for Discourse and Coherence, ed. Gerhard Preyer)

A theory of film space: its structure, what makes it coherent, and how spatial coherence interacts with viewpoint constraints.

Temporal Continuity [video] (with Sam Cumming and Rory Kelly, SCSMI 2021)

Showing Seeing in Film (with Sam Cumming, Elsi Kaiser, and Rory Kelly, Ergo, 2021)

An investigation of two film conventions for representing what a character sees: point-of-view (POV) and sight link; an extension of our project on viewpoint constraints in film.

Conventions of Viewpoint Coherence in Film (with Sam Cumming and Rory Kelly, Philosopher's Imprint, 17:1, 2017)

Emoji, modality, and meaning

A Semantics of Face Emoji in Discourse (with Patrick Grosz, Christian De Leon, and Elsi Kaiser, Linguistics and Philosophy, 2023)

A semantic account of the contribution of face emoji to linguistic discourse.

The Tree of Meaning [video] (with Sam Cumming; SLIME Workshop)

Meta-semantic foundations for a theory of signs.

Counterfactuals and Modality (Linguistics and Philosophy, 2021)


The Semiotic Spectrum

On-line publications

Pictorial Grammar (with Dawn Chan, Paris Review Daily, 12/21/10)
Seven Puzzles of Pictorial Representation [original link] (Aesthetics for Birds, 9/7/14)


Special issue, "Pictorial and Diagrammatic Representation" (ed. with Valeria Giardino, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 6:1, 2015)

  1. Introduction: Varieties of Iconicity
    Valeria Giardino and Gabriel Greenberg
  2. Wayfinding: Notes on the 'Public' as Interactive
    Patrick Maynard
  3. The Mystery of Deduction and Diagrammatic Aspects of Representation
    Sun-Joo Shin
  4. Meaning and Demonstration
    Matthew Stone and Una Stojnic
  5. The Cognitive Design of Tools of Thought
    Barbara Tversky
  6. Diagrams as Tools for Scientific Reasoning
    Adele Abrahamsen and William Bechtel
  7. Street Signs and Ikea Instruction Sheets: Pragmatics and Pictorial Communication
    Marcello Frixione and Antonio Lombardi
  8. Pictures Have Propositional Content
    Alex Grzankowski
  9. Analog Representation and the Parts Principle
    John Kulvicki
  10. Trompe l'oeil and the Dorsal/Ventral Account of Pictorial Perception
    Bence Nanay


Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Philosophy of Mind (Phil 7)
Introduction to Theory of Computation (Phil 133)
Philosophy of Visual Representation (Phil 161)

Graduate Seminars

Mental Iconicity
Emotions and their Expression
Non-Linguistic Representation
Visual Narrative (with Sam Cumming)
Visual Objects
80's Classics (Naturalizing Intentionality)
Computation and Cognition
Pictorial Semantics
Semantics of Irreality (with Jessica Rett)
Iconic and Symbolic Representation


Sam Cumming
Dawn Chan
Christian De Leon
Valeria Giardino
Patrick Grosz
Elsi Kaiser
Rory Kelly