The aim of this paper is to argue that it is a promising avenue of research to consider philosophy of perception to be a guide to aesthetics. More precisely, my claim is that many, maybe even most, traditional problems in aesthetics are in fact about philosophy of perception that can, as a result, be fruitfully addressed with the help of the conceptual apparatus of philosophy of perception. This claim may sound provocative, but after qualifying what (...) I mean by aesthetics (to be contrasted with philosophy of art) and by philosophy of perception, it may be easier to accept. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Dewey’s pragmatist aesthetics, and in particular, his concept of consummatory experience, should be engaged anew to rethink the merits of the Philosophy for Children (PFC) programme, which arose in the 1970s in the US as an innovative educational programme that aims to use philosophy to help school children (aged 6–18) improve their ability to become more conscious of and make judgments about the aspects of their experience that have ethical, aesthetic, political, (...) logical, or even metaphysical meaning. Although an international success, the PFC programme has attracted many criticisms from a variety of directions. I claim that Deweyan concept of consummatory aesthetic experience is broad and flexible enough to provide a robust framework to make sense of the pedagogical horizon of PFC and therefore fruitfully engage the various critics of the movement coming from religious and social conservatives, educational psychologists, critical theorists, postmodernists/posthumanists, and professional philosophers themselves. The goal of this paper is to offer in a preliminary fashion the basic elements of Deweyan pragmatist aesthetics, which was principally elucidated in his Art as Experience, to defend PFC as a viable pedagogy. (shrink)
Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today. Brings together fresh debates on eleven of the most controversial issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of art Topics addressed include the nature of beauty, aesthetic experience, artistic value, and the nature of our emotional responses to art. Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent (...) scholars, and especially commissioned for the volume. Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in aesthetics, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. (shrink)
This paper attempts to elucidate Wittgenstein’s remark about the “strange resemblance between a philosophical investigation (especially in mathematics) and an aesthetic one” from 1937 by looking at its textual and philosophical context. The conclusion is that the remark can be seen both as a description of a particular conception of philosophy, a prescription or declaration of intent (to proceed in a particular way), and a reminder (to Wittgenstein himself) about the form of a philosophical investigation. Furthermore, it is concluded (...) that the Darstellungsform he has in mind is the one that finds expression especially in the first part of the PI. (shrink)
Why do people respond emotionally to works of fiction they know are make-believe? Boruah tackles this question, which is fundamental aesthetics and literary studies, from a totally new perspective. Bringing together the various answers that have been offered by philosophers from Aristotle to Roger Scruton, he shows that while some philosophers have denied any rational basis to our emotional responses to fiction, others have argued that the emotions evoked by fiction are not real emotions at all. In response to (...) this, Boruah contends that fictional emotions are rational because they are based on the same sorts of beliefs that we form about real situations and real people. He illustrates this argument with literary examples ranging from Shakespeare to Tolstoy. (shrink)
Noise permeates our highly mediated and globalised cultures. Noise as art, music, cultural or digital practice is a way of intervening so that it can be harnessed for an aesthetic expression not caught within mainstream styles or distribution. This wide-ranging book examines the concept and practices of noise, treating noise not merely as a sonic phenomenon but as an essential component of all communication and information systems. The book opens with ideas of what noise is, and then works through ideas (...) of how noise works in contemporary media, to conclude by showing potentials within noise for a continuing cultural renovation through experimentation. Considered in this way, noise is seen as an essential yet excluded element of contemporary culture that demands a rigorous engagement. Reverberations brings together a range of perspectives, case studies, critiques and suggestions as to how noise can mobilize thought and cultural activity through a heightening of critical creativity.Written by a strong, international line-up of scholars and artists, Reverberations looks to energize this field of study and initiate debates for years to come. (shrink)
This volume explores the relationship between Kant's aesthetic theory and his critical epistemology as articulated in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of the Power of Judgment. The essays, written specially for this volume, revise our understanding of core elements of Kant's epistemology, such as his notions of discursive understanding, experience, and objective judgment. They also demonstrate a rich grasp of Kant's critical epistemology that enables a deeper understanding of his aesthetics. Collectively, the essays reveal that Kant's (...) critical project, and the dialectics of aesthetics and cognition within it, is still relevant to contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and the nature of experience and objectivity. The book also yields important lessons about the ineliminable, yet problematic place of imagination, sensibility and aesthetic experience in perception and cognition. (shrink)
Most books on aesthetics tend to be either too theoretical for the arts or not theoretical enough for philosophy. This book strikes a new and better balance between these competing interests. By taking a normative question--why should we value the arts?--it manages to develop a genuinely philosophical understanding of art and its value while never losing sight of the poems, pictures and music which draw and sustain interest in the arts. In this new second edition, chapters have been (...) revised to include new material and also an added chapter about the subjectivity of aesthetic judgement, the importance of the artist's intention and the possibility of an aesthetic appreciation of nature. The book concludes with a critical survey of art theories and introduces some complex issues surrounding disputes between Marxism, structuralism and postmodernism. (shrink)
Part 1. Expression in Merleau-Ponty's aesthetics -- 1. Primordial perception and artistic expression: Merleau-Ponty and Cezanne -- 2. Expression, institution, and the field: a searching itinerary -- 3. Painterly and phenomenological interrogation in "Eye and mind" -- Part 2. Expression in animal life -- 4. The expressivity of animal behavior: embryogenesis and environing worlds -- 5. The expressivity of animal appearance and of directive and instinctual activities -- Part 3. Expression in Merleau-Ponty's ontology -- 6. The role of expression (...) in Merleau-Ponty's dialogue with the rationalists -- 7. The irreducibility of expression: Merleau-Ponty's ontology and its wider implications -- Concluding thoughts. (shrink)
Why do people read novels, go to the theater, or listen to beautiful music? Do we seek out aesthetic experiences simply because we enjoy them--or is there another, deeper, reason we spend our leisure time viewing or experiencing works of art? Aesthetics, the first short introduction to the contemporary philosophy of aesthetics, examines not just the nature of the aesthetic experience, but the definition of art, and its moral and intrinsic value in our lives. Anne Sheppard divides (...) her work into two parts: In the first, she summarizes the major theories defining art and beauty; in the second, she explores the nature of aesthetic evaluation and appreciation. As Sheppard explains, there are three main approaches to defining art, all focused on what art objects share. One proposes that all art imitates something in life, another that it expresses something (such as anger or ecstasy), still another suggests that all art has formal qualities. There is also a fourth which offers that all art shares the quality of beauty. In the second part, which concentrates on literary art, Sheppard explores such philosophic topics as critical judgment, meaning and truth in literature, and the relationship between art and morals. She raises such questions as whether there is one correct interpretation of a work of art and whether art has a moral effect on its audience and, citing specific examples, explores the views that have been put forth. A wide-ranging, intriguing book, which assumes no formal knowledge on the part of its readers, Aesthetics opens the door to a greater understanding and appreciation of art. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to explore historically the origin of the difficulty of founding the reflecting power of judgment as Kant outlines it in the Preface to the third Critique. Despite that a foundation of the power of judging in the system of Transcendental Philosophy was only established in 1790, we must interpret it as a critical solution for an old problem, which Kant had already recognized around 1770. Through his comprehension of the meaning of healthy understanding (...) he already confirms the impossibility of determining the correctness of our judging activity from the use of rules. This insight of the problem must be understood in the context of the controversy about the relation between logica naturalis and logica artificialis as it occurs in the Leibniz-Wolffian aesthetics and logic. Although Kant had not yet developed the transcendental critique of taste around 1770, he already elucidates the problematic of judging through the model of taste and in close conjunction with this tradition. (shrink)
These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy. -/- What is art? Must art be beautiful? Must art be politically or culturally significant? How does art differ from other products of human activity? Joseph Margolis has spent decades thinking through these and related questions. In this book, he introduces his reader to the field of Aesthetics by thinking through the most fundamental (...) philosophical questions about art in a way that is engaging and accessible. This book could be used alongside a textbook of classic readings in Aesthetics, or as a stand-alone text in Aesthetics. THE WADSWORTH PHILOSOPHICAL TOPICS SERIES presents readers with concise, timely, and insightful introductions to a variety of traditional and contemporary philosophical subjects. With this series, students of philosophy will be able to discover the richness of philosophical inquiry across a wide array of concepts, including hallmark philosophical themes and themes typically underrepresented in mainstream philosophy publishing. Written by a distinguished list of scholars who have garnered particular recognition for their excellence in teaching, this series presents the vast sweep of today's philosophical exploration in highly accessible and affordable volumes. These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy. (shrink)
Disability has been a topic of heightened philosophical interest in the last 30 years. Disability theory has enriched a broad range of sub-specializations in philosophy. The call for papers for this issue welcomed papers addressing questions on normalcy, medical ethics, public health, philosophy of education, aesthetics, philosophy of sport, philosophy of religion, and theories of knowledge. This issue of Essays in Philosophy includes nine essays that approach the philosophy of disability in three distinct (...) ways: The first set of three essays provide a careful analysis of John Rawls, and the application of his work in ethics and justice to societies in which persons with disabilities, especially cognitive disabilities, can take active part in the processes of civil society. The second set of three essays branch out into continental philosophy, and are especially engaged with issues of community membership, communication, translation, and hermeneutics. The third set of three essays address disability specifically through the arts and aesthetics; asking questions on the portrayal of disabled persons in the arts and its implications for normalcy, sexuality, beauty, and the sublime. (shrink)
In this article, Bakhtin’s early aesthetics is reread in the context of Hermann Cohen’s system of philosophy, especially his aesthetics. Bakhtin’s thinking from the early ethical writing Toward a Philosophy of Act to Author and Hero in Artistic Activity and Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics is followed. In Author and Hero , an individual is in his life conceived as involved in cognitive and ethical action but as remaining without a consummative form; the form, or the ‘soul’, (...) is bestowed upon a person by the creative activity of the artist alone. In his understanding of artistic creativity and the relationship between the ‘hero’ and the author, Bakhtin closely follows Cohen, with the exception that for Cohen the object of artistic form-giving is the universal, idealized man, whereas for Bakhtin it is an individual. In the concept of a ‘polyphonic novel’ as developed in Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics , Bakhtin, however, considers this view of the activity of the artist (or the novelist) to apply to the “traditional” novel only, while in a Dostoevskyean novel the characters are not subordinated to any defining power of the author. Bakhtin’s theory of the Dostoevskyean novel is thus a return to the emphasis of the cognitive and ethical autonomy of the individual. His understanding of the encounter between persons as a ‘subject’—‘subject’ or an ‘I’—‘thou’ relation has a predecessor, among others, in Cohen. (shrink)
Introduction: the literary function -- Being constructivist -- Rethinking the performative in pragmatics -- The literary function and the cartographic turn: performative philosophy -- The literary function and society, I: affirmation of immanent aesthetics -- The literary function and society, II: community and subjectification -- The reader and the event of fiction -- Conclusion: degrees of freedom.
The paper asks for the preconditions and the consequences of the emergence of aesthetics in and for philosophy. The question is: what does it mean for philosophy to engage the question of the aesthetic? My answer will be: it means nothing less than putting philosophy in question. Or, more precisely: by engaging the question of the aesthetic, philosophy puts itself in question. In order to show this, I will refer to a brief passage in the (...) Phenomenology of the Spirit and then attempt to turn it against what I take it to be Hegel’s own intention. The paper attempts to sketch this argument in three brisk moves by (1) distinguishing a philosophy of the “poetic” from a philosophy of the “aesthetic”; (2) describing the aesthetic as “regressive” and “(self-)reflexive”; and (3) sketching the paradoxical place of aesthetics within philosophy.  . (shrink)
Examines the overlap between film and philosophy in three distinct ways: epistemological issues in film-making and viewing; aesthetic theory and film; and film as a medium of philosophical expression. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
Several prominent philosophers of science, most notably Ron Giere, propose that scientific theories are collections of models and that models represent the objects of scientific study. Some, including Giere, argue that models represent in the same way that pictures represent. Aestheticians have brought the picturing relation under intense scrutiny and presented important arguments against the tenability of particular accounts of picturing. Many of these arguments from aesthetics can be used against accounts of representation in philosophy of science. I (...) rely on Dominic Lopes' recent summary of arguments against various views of picturing and reformulate some of them to fit the philosophy of science context. My specific targets here are Giere and Steven French. I go on to argue that assuming all scientific models and images represent in the same way is not the best guide to understanding scientific practice. (shrink)
This essay reconstructs Schelling's philosophical development during the years 1794-1800. It emphasizes the role of Kant's heritage within Schelling's early philosophy, and the strong relationship between Schelling and Hölderlin during their Tübingen years. The central question it explores is how the Absolute relates to Finiteness - a relation that constitutes the basis of transcendental idealism as well as the essence of a transcendental philosophy, here radically understood as a philosophy of finitude and as a critical aesthetics. (...) The essay shows the young Schelling as he presents a rich and novel field of inquiry, which provides a credible and engaging alternative to Hegelian thinking and anticipates themes from twentieth-century philosophy (Phenomenology, Existentialism, Critical Thinking). The volume thus provides both a historical and a contemporary look at Schelling's early philosophy, and at its original and speculative approach. (shrink)
Alfred North Whitehead published no book or article strictly on aesthetics. Nonetheless, in his philosophical writings he mentions several times that aesthetic experience is the key to his metaphysics. In fundamental places of his philosophical system, moreover, he uses expressions like ‘aesthetic experience’, ‘aesthetic fact’, ‘aesthetic unity’, and ‘aesthetic order’. These expressions do not, however, refer to human conscious experience alone, but to all entities of the universe. That has led some scholars to the conviction that these terms are (...) used in a purely technical sense and therefore do not refer to the sphere of aesthetics. The author of the current article seeks to demonstrate that these terms do refer to the sphere of aesthetics. The argument set out here consists in three steps. In the first, the author presents Whitehead’s philosophical method of imaginative generalization. In the second step, the author presents the fundamental ontological unit (the actual occasion) of Whitehead’s philosophy, and points out that Whitehead describes it using aesthetic terms that are employed in a broad sense. In the third step the author presents Whitehead’s view of aesthetic understanding. At the end of the article, it is demonstrated that although Whitehead did not develop his analysis of aesthetic understanding into a consistent theory, it forms the background to all his metaphysical books. (shrink)
We argue that environmental aesthetics, and specifically the concept of aesthetic integrity, should play a central role in a public environmental philosophy designed to communicate about environmental problems in an effective manner. After developing the concept of the ?aesthetic integrity? of the environment, we appeal to empirical research to show that it contributes significantly to people?s sense of place, which is, in turn, central to their well-being and motivational state. As a result, appealing to aesthetic integrity in policy (...) contexts is both strategically and morally advisable. To provide a concrete illustration of the ways in which such appeals can play a role in policy making, we examine a specific case study in which attention to aesthetic integrity contributed to blocking a proposed development. The case yields at least four lessons: (1) aesthetic integrity can be a practically effective framing device; (2) local deliberative settings are particularly conducive for addressing it; (3) it can serve as an umbrella under which multiple other issues can be brought to the fore; and (4) judgments about aesthetic integrity need not be entirely objective in order for them to play a productive role in the policy sphere. (shrink)
The contributions to this volume provide a thorough introduction to the major topics in contemporary aesthetics and the philosophy of art, in the distinctive format of philosophers engaging in head-to-head debate at a level accessible to ...
General rules and "of the standard of taste" -- Aesthetic beauty and moral beauty -- Antinomy and error -- Reflection and character -- Beauty and moral life -- Progress and prejudice -- Philosophy and moral life.
What often occurs in relation to contemporary culture are attempts to develop a philosophy which would be focused on culture which is gaining in importance and which would thus complement the extant philosophy of art. The author discusses two such attempts, namely those of Heinz Paetzold and Fredric Jameson. Nonetheless, in his view, in both cases the theories offered remain insufficient and in need of further development if they are to philosophically grasp the current changes in art and (...) culture. (edited). (shrink)
This article is in two parts, with part II to appear in the next issue of JAE (Spring 2013). Part I (with six sections), in this issue, has two related objectives. The first objective is to examine a number of key substantive, methodological, and science-practice issues related to the field designated here as empirical psycho-aesthetics. The second objective is to present an outline of its origin and discuss certain important features of several related fields—experimental philosophy, cognitive-science-and-art, (cognitive) neuroscience (...) of art, and neuroaesthetics. To a certain extent, the comparative goal is approached through the analysis of several recent significant controversies. Throughout the discussion, the .. (shrink)
Imagination is a central concept in aesthetics with close ties to issues in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, yet it has not received the kind of sustained, critical attention it deserves. Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts represents the work of fifteen young yet distinguished philosophers of art, who critically examine just how and in what form the notion of imagination illuminates fundamental problems in the philosophy of art. All new papers, a (...) strong collection on the imagination in philosophy, particularly in relation to literature and the visual arts. The book falls in three parts: emotional imagination, fiction-making imagination and sensory imagination. The volume opens up several new frontiers that will attract substantial interest in philosophers of art, as well as philosophers working on mental representation, emotion theory, perception and fiction. These papers make a large contribution to developing our understanding of 'imagination' in new directions and setting the research agenda for the next decade. (shrink)
Philosophy of Art is a textbook for undergraduate students interested in the topic of philosophical aesthetics. It aims to introduce the techniques of analytic philosophy in addition to a selection of the major topics in this field of inquiry. These include the representational theory of art, formalism, neo-formalism, aesthetic theories of art, neo-Wittgensteinism, the Institutional Theory of Art, as well as historical approaches to the nature of art. Throughout the book, abstract philosophical theories are illustrated by examples (...) of both traditional and contemporary art, thereby enriching the readers understanding of art theory as well as the appreciation of art. (shrink)
In his Critical Aesthetics and Postmodernism, Paul Crowther argued that art and aesthetic experiences have the capacity to humanize. In Art and Embodiment he develops this theme in much greater depth, arguing that art can bridge the gap between philosophy's traditional striving for generality and completeness, and the concreteness and contingency of humanity's basic relation to the world. As the key element in his theory, he proposes an ecological definition of art. His strategy involves first mapping out and (...) analyzing the logical boundaries and ontological structures of the aesthetic domain. He then considers key concepts from this analysis in the light of a tradition in Continental philosophy (notably the work of Kant, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Hegel) which--by virtue of the philosophical significance that it assigns to art--significantly anticipates the ecological conception. On this basis, Crowther is able to give a full formulation of his ecological definition. Art, in making sensible or imaginative material into symbolic form, harmonizes and conserves what is unique and what is general in human experience. The aesthetic domain answers basic needs intrinsic to self-consciousness itself, and art is the highest realization of such needs. In the creation and reception of art the embodied subject is fully at home with his or her environment. (shrink)
Philosophy of music has flourished in the last thirty years, with great advances made in the understanding of the nature of music and its aesthetics. Peter Kivy has been at the center of this flourishing, and now offers his personal introduction to philosophy of music, a clear and lively explanation of how he sees the most important and interesting philosophical issues relating to music. Anyone interested in music will find this a stimulating introduction to some fascinating questions (...) and ideas. (shrink)
Leading young scholars present a collection of wide-ranging essays covering central problems in meta-aesthetics and aesthetic issues in the philosophy of mind, as well as offering analyses of key aesthetic concepts, new perspectives on the history of aesthetics, and specialized treatment of individual art forms.
This book proposes that aesthetics begin not with concepts of being or semblance, but with a concept of appearing. Appearing bespeaks of the reality that all aesthetic objects share, however different they may otherwise be. For Martin Seel, appearing plays its part everywhere in the aesthetic realm, in all aesthetic activity. In his book, Seel examines the existential and cultural meaning of aesthetic experience. In doing so, he brings aesthetics and philosophy of art together again, which in (...) continental as well as analytical thinking have been more and more separated in the recent decades. Within Seel’s framework, to apprehend things and events with respect to how they appear momentarily and simultaneously to our senses represents a genuine way for human beings to encounter the world. The consciousness that emerges here is an anthropologically central faculty. In perceiving the unfathomable particularity of a sensuously given we gain insight into the indeterminable of our lives. Attentiveness to what is appearing is therefore at the same time attentiveness to ourselves. This is also the case when works of art imagine past or future, probable or improbable presences. Artworks develop their transgressive energy from their presence as sense-catching forms. They bring about a special presence in which a presentation of close or distant presences comes about. (shrink)