My provocation about statements lead to quite interesting results. As it turns out, most of the people who did not agree with me simply didn’t understand what I was saying (whether on purpose or not). Just to make this clear, I did not say that there are no photographers with a preconception about what they want to shoot. In the light of my own photographic projects - all of which are based on very clear a priori ideas - this would be absurd. What I did say was that I believe that there are many photographers who do not have such preconceptions (and I got lots of emails from those); and that lead me to ask why we can’t accept something like “I just wanted to take beautiful photos of rubble piles”.
Now an interesting follow-up question to this - which I didn’t pose but which now became obvious to me - is why so many people think that if one was to say something like that, that would so immensely decrease the value of the photography (or art). I think many people with an art-school background will be surprised to learn that many artists do not consider endless theoretical considerations to be part of what it means to be an artist (and I am saying that even though, to a certain extent and despite a lack of an art-school background myself, I myself am quite interested in some theoretical and/or historical considerations.).