Both accuracy and aesthetics are illusions. Unfortunately, because the literal minded can't grasp aesthetics, they become preoccupied with accuracy, which has plenty of 'scientific' literature in photography. But... you can't help talking about realism in connection with photographic accuracy (as you have David), thus, it's really a question for philosophers. I used the term in another thread; digging for Australia.
But, now, with those factors seemingly contradicting one another (accuracy vs aesthetics) I really wonder if desertratt was really both prompt and prescient.