This is the official White House photograph of Bill Clinton. It was taken on Jan. 1, 1993. But Clinton wasn’t inaugurated until Jan. 20. Can this be said, then, to be a photo of President Bill Clinton?
To get an answer to this cosmic question, a reporter called the chairman of the New York University philosophy department, Roy Sorensen. Sorensen said yes.
“Think of it this way,” he said. “A photograph of Clinton does not need to be a photograph of the full spatial extent of his body. Just a representative part of his body will do. The same applies for temporal parts; a photograph of one stage of Clinton is a photograph of Clinton. Even a baby picture of Clinton is a picture of President Clinton.”
(From Sorensen’s A Brief History of the Paradox, 2005.)