Philosophical Photography

[Jenny Gillett, “Identity”]

The Rotman Institute of Philosophy at Western University recently announced the winner of its Philosophical Photography Contest. It’s Jenny Gillett, for her photo, “Identity,” above. The contest asked people to submit photos that “somehow managed to capture an abstract philosophical concept.”

Here is what Ms. Gillett says about her photo:

The photo is of 2 tree nymph butterflies and was taken at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The image highlights the concept of identity. The image shows 2 near identical butterflies, raising the issue of what we mean by, and what constitutes, individual identity. The image also raises issues of persistence of identity over time – butterflies go through huge physical changes in a very rapid space of time, yet many would argue for some kind of continuity of identity between the caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly.

Here are two of the runners-up:

Mark Bessoudo, “Order and Disorder”


Sylvia Wenmackers, “Let No One Ignorant of Geometry Enter / Plato’s Theory of Forms”

You read about these and see the rest here.

Do you know about other examples of philosophical photography? Share links in the comments, or send me an image and I’ll include it in an update to this post.

Justin Weinberg, “Perspective”


Jonathan Cohen, “Substantial Form”


Alan White, “Chicken Soup, Luck, and Self-Reference”

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