v. 1. Aesthetic beauty & bliss in Indian literature & philosophy -- v. 2. Two streams of Indian Art. pt. 1. History, thoughts, and canon of Indian iconography -- pt. 2. The Tāntrika iconography -- pt. 3. Indian gesturology -- pt. 4. Primitive arts, crafts, and ālpanā.
To approach the Hindu poetic art -- On Indian music -- Concerning Uday Shankar -- The origin of the theatre of Bharata -- Oriental book reviews -- The hymn of man -- To the liquid -- Knowledge of the self -- Some Sanskrit texts on poetry.
The theory of art in Asia.--Meister Eckhart's view of art.--Reactions to art in India.--Aesthetic of the Śukranītsāra.--Paroksa.--Ábhása.--Origin and use of images in India.--Notes.--Sanskrit glossary.--List of Chinese characters.--Bibliography (p. -245).
This book presents a timely reconfiguration of the relations between art, philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. Through connection with a range of contemporary social and philosophical issues and movements, this collection of essays highlights the imperative of sensorial aesthetics. The book focuses on the radical philosophical approach to aesthetics enabled by the works of Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. From these philosophers an older meaning of aesthetic has been recalled. Before it indicated primarily the theory of art and beauty, “aesthetic” referred (...) to the sensibility, the capacity to receive sensations. In summoning this “sensorial” meaning of aesthetics in their respective works, Lyotard, Deleuze, and other recent thinkers turn the philosophical theory of aesthetics away from the dominance of cognitivist and reception theories, and towards a thinking of aesthetics through considerations of the movements of matter, affect, and sensation. (shrink)
The Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce (1866-1952) spent most of his life as a private scholar in Naples. His Estetica, which first appeared in 1902, has remained a seminal work not only for aesthetics but also for general linguistics. As the full title indicates, this is not a narrow work dealing with the theory of art and criticism. For Croce intended this to be the first part of his "philosophy of the spirit" and he thus presents a systematic general theory intended (...) to solve all philosophical problems. The work presents an account of the structure of the human mind and shows how art arises naturally from that structure, as well as introducing the influential notion of the organic unity of a work of art. As a result, art is shown to be integral to any life and an essential aspect of what it is to be human. This new translation of the first and most important part of the work (Theory) supersedes the defective translation by D. Ainslie, first published in 1909. It is based on the most recent Italian edition (1990). In his foreword the translator addresses the difficulties in translating certain key words in the Italian original, "scienza", "fantasia", and of course, "estetica" itself. He also furnishes the reader with helpful explanatory annotation. This publication will be of cardinal importance for all those interested in the philosophy of art, the history of criticism, and the history of linguistics. (shrink)
Against the assumption that aesthetic form relates to a harmonious arrangement of parts into a beautiful whole, this book argues that reason is the real theme of the Critique of Judgment as of the two earlier Critiques. Since aesthetic judgment of the beautiful becomes possible only when the mind is confronted with things of nature, for which no determined concepts of understanding are available, aesthetic judgment is involved in an epistemological or, rather, para-epistemological task. The predicate “beautiful” indicates that something (...) has minimal form and is cognizable. This book explores this concept of form, in particular the role of presentation (Darstellung) in what Kant refers to as “mere form,” which involves not only the understanding, but also reason as the faculty of ideas. Such a notion of form reveals why the beautiful can be related to the morally good. On the basis of this reinterpreted concept of form, most major concepts and themes of the Critique of Judgment—such as disinterestedness, free play, the sublime, genius, and beautiful arts—are examined by the author and shown in a new light. (shrink)
All aesthetic judgements, whether descriptive, evaluative or some combination of the two, and whatever they might be about, whether works of art, artefacts of other kinds, or natural things, declare themselves to be, not mere announcements or expressions of personal responses to the objects of judgement, but claims meriting the agreement of others. Despite the frequent appeal in everyday life to the nihilistic interpretation of the saying It's all a matter of taste, the doctrine of aesthetic nihilism—the view that such (...) claims are never warranted—does not merit serious attention. What is needed is an articulation of the various kinds of content of aesthetic judgements, one that will reveal what their claim to intersubjective validity amounts to and enable an assessment of what the proper limits of the claim might be. This clarification is what I attempt to provide. After some introductory definitions and classifications, the principal focus of the first part of the paper is descriptive aesthetic judgements, and one issue that figures large is the proper understanding of those judgements of this kind which are expressed in sentences that are intended to be understood metaphorically. A short bridge passage identifies an aesthetic judgement whose content is indicative of the content of evaluative aesthetic judgements of all kinds, and in particular evaluative aesthetic judgements about works of art, which the second part of the paper focuses on. Real illumination of these requires an identification of the aim of art (as such): I offer an account of this aim, which I defend against certain objections that it is liable to attract, and I use it to throw light not just on singular but also on comparative judgements of artistic value. I conclude with some remarks about purely aesthetic value and specifically artistic value and about similarities and differences between evaluative aesthetic judgements of works of art and evaluative aesthetic judgements of works of nature. (shrink)
My paper examines a vital but neglected aspect of Frank Sibley's pioneering account of aesthetic concepts. This is the claim that many aesthetic qualities are such that they can be characterized adequately only by metaphors or ‘quasi-metaphors’. Although there is no indication that Sibley embraced it, I outline a radical, minimalist conception of the experience of perceiving an item as possessing an aesthetic quality, which, I believe, has wide application and which would secure Sibley's position for those aesthetic qualities that (...) conform to it. (shrink)
: This essay explores how early approaches in feminist aesthetics drew on concepts honed in the field of feminist legal theory, especially conceptions of oppression and equality. I argue that by importing these feminist legal concepts, many early feminist accounts of how art is political depended largely on a distinctly liberal version of politics. I offer a critique of liberal feminist aesthetics, indicating ways recent work in the field also turns toward critical feminist aesthetics as an alternative.
The current essay describes aspects of C. I. Lewis’s rarely cited contributions to aesthetics, focusing primarily on the conception of aesthetic experience developed in An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation. Lewis characterized aesthetic value as a proper subset of inherent value, which he understood as the power to occasion intrinsically valued experiences. He distinguished aesthetic experiences from experiences more generally in terms of eight conditions. Roughly, he proposed that aesthetic experiences have a highly positive, preponderantly intrinsic value realized through contemplation, (...) where the experience is indicative of the object’s reliable and characteristic inherent value. Objections to this account motivate a revised, neo-Lewisian proposal. (shrink)
Aesthetics is not a subject usually associated with North Korea in Western scholarship, the usual tropes being autocracy, counterfeiting, drugs, human-rights abuse, famine, nuclear weapons, party-military dictatorship, Stalinism, and totalitarianism. Where the arts are concerned, they are typically seen as crude political propaganda. One British museum specialist writes that North Korean visual art is an "art under control," and one Russian historian insists that North Korean literature is devoid of the "beauty of language."1 As the short turns of phrase and (...) value judgments indicate, there has been no real attempt in English to engage the North Korean aesthetic on descriptive terms.North Korea is not a liberal .. (shrink)
I begin by demonstrating the inadequacy of the idea that the aesthetic appreciation of nature should be understood as the appreciation of nature as if it were art. This leads to a consideration of three theses: (i) from the aesthetic point of view natural items should be appreciated under concepts of the natural things or phenomena they are, (ii) what aesthetic properties a natural item really possesses is determined by the right categories of nature to experience the item as falling (...) under, and (iii) (the doctrine of positive aesthetics with respect to nature) the natural world untouched by humanity is essentially aesthetically good. I indicate an unclarity in (i) and identify difficulties facing (ii). I distinguish various versions of (iii), reject certain of these, and fault a number of arguments in support of (iii). I conclude that the idea of the aesthetic value of a natural item is such that it endows the aesthetic appreciation of nature with a freedom and relativity denied to the appreciation of art and renders (iii) problematic. (shrink)
Many physicians assert that new cost-control mechanisms inappropriately interfere with clinical decision-making. They claim that high costs arise from poorly practiced medicine, and argue that effective utilization of resources is best promoted by advancing the scientific and ethical ideals of medicine. However, the claim is not warranted by empirical evidence. In this essay, I show how it rests upon aesthetic considerations associated with diagnostic elegance. I first consider scientific rationality generally. After a review of analytical empiricist and socio-historical approaches in (...) the philosophy of science, a form of Kant's aesthetic is used to explain how scientific discovery and justification are linked, and to show how meta-theoretical considerations associated with the goals and method of science work together with exemplars of practice. This analysis enables us to understand how the ideals of medicine as a science guide the initial patient history and physical exam in such a way that a parsimonious use of tests is indicated. Aesthetic considerations unite the basic scientific and ethical commitments of the modern medical paradigm and are central for rightly understanding clinical judgment. (shrink)
Unrecognized presuppositions about patient appearance have become increasingly important in medicine, medical ethics and medical law. Symptoms of these historically conditioned assumptions include common ageism, aesthetic surgery, and litigation about ‘wrongful life’. These phenomena suggest a societal intolerance for what is considered an ‘abnormal’ appearance. Among others, eighteenth-century artists and anatomists helped to set these twentieth-century precedents, actually measuring deviations of external traits to analogous deformations of the soul, and drawing moral conclusions from physiognomic measurements. Other eighteenth-century artists countered with (...) pathognomy, recognizing that uneven physical features may indicate humanity, instead of character flaws. We suggest that there is an important and as yet unrecognized role played by visual and perceptual preferences in our judgments concerning normalcy and anomaly. We further suggest a shift away from our current fashion-magazine, youth-oriented aesthetic, and towards an aesthetic of imperfection. Physicians and medical students can be made aware of their historically conditioned reactions to ‘abnormal’ appearing patients by studying the understandings and methods with which artists have portrayed those who are considered deformed in appearance. Keywords: medical ethics, ethics, art history, wrongful life, ageism, cosmetic surgery CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Chinese people attach importance to intuition and imagery in ways of thinking that are quite sensible, but the result, i.e. the thoughts that are popularized in virtue of political power, are rather rational. These rational thoughts, which were influenced by Buddhism and continually became introspective, had been growing more irrational factors. Up to the middle and late Ming Dynasty, when the economy was developed, they merged with the growing emphasis on daily needs of food and clothes and the envisagement to (...) the utilitarian circumstances, and finally broke through the threshold of rationalism. Under the attack of Geng Dingxiang, Li Zhi who emphasized these thoughts was forced beyond his previous boundaries and led a whole variation in how he viewed a series of issues including values, humanity, ethics and aesthetics. This indicated a historical change from rationalism to irrationalism in Chinese humanism and aesthetics thoughts. (shrink)
Three paradigms for making sense of the aesthetic experience of nature---Specularism, Scientific Exemplarism and Perspectivalism---are found in the literature on the aesthetics of nature. The first focuses on seeing nature as a picture, the second on grasping aesthetic experience through the categories of scientific enquiry and the third emphasizes a more phenomenological relation between the experienced and the experiencer. After the historical development which fashioned Specularism’s approach to aestheticshas been indicated and the ahistorical nature of Scientific Exemplarism has been explained, (...) the relative strengths of these three paradigms are explored before the implications of the third are related to a possible spiritual view of nature. (shrink)
In the first edition of his book on the completeness of Kant’s table of judgments, Klaus Reich shortly indicates that the B-version of the metaphysical exposition of space in the Critique of pure reason is structured following the inverse order of the table of categories. In this paper, I develop Reich’s claim and provide further evidence for it. My argumentation is as follows: Through analysis of our actually given representation of space as some kind of object (the formal intuition of (...) space in general), the metaphysical exposition will show that this representation is secondary to space considered as an original, undetermined and as such unrepresentable intuitive manifold. Now, following Kant, the representation of any kind of object involves diversity, synthesis and unity. In the case of our representation of space as formal intuition, this involves, firstly, a manifold a priori, i.e. space as pure form, delivered by the transcendental Aesthetic, secondly, a figurative, productive synthesis of that manifold, and, thirdly, the unity provided by the categories. Analysing our given representation of space – the task of the metaphysical exposition – amounts to dismantling its unity and determine its characteristics with respect to the categories. (shrink)
One aspect of Richard Shusterman’s work is indicative of a broad movement to develop a robust philosophy of embodiment. Thinkers from diverse fields—such as feminism, pragmatism, and continental philosophy—have criticized Western philosophy’s suppression of embodiment and have gone on to suggest how the philosophy of the body can enrich our understanding of issues that arise within traditional fields such as ethics and aesthetics. Further, work in this area can provide novel insights into personal identity, gender, linguistics, and philosophy of mind. (...) Shusterman’s contribution to the field is somaesthetics, the critical and meliorative study of embodied experience that views the human body as a locus of .. (shrink)
Radio drama is often considered an incomplete or ‘blind’ artform because it creates worlds through sound alone. The charge of incompleteness, I suggest, rests upon the orthodox empiricist conception of sensation as the receipt of separate modalities of sensory impression. However, alternative theories of sensation are offered by phenomenology and—of particular importance to this study—the restructuring of cognition that takes place in these theories plays a central role in phenomenology's account of artistic expression. The significance of this phenomenological link between (...) cognition and expression is that it can provide the basis for a more positive evaluation of the aesthetics of radio drama. From a phenomenological perspective, the alleged ‘incompleteness’ of sound becomes an -exemplary form of the process whereby material elements in an artwork interact with or beckon towards one another to express a world. In this paper, I (i) show how Merleau-Ponty's ‘invitational’ account of the senses meets the charge of ‘blindness’, (ii) -demonstrate how radio drama employs the aesthetic interactions that, from the theoretical standpoints of Merleau-Ponty and Dufrenne, are definitive of expression in art, and (iii) indicate how some of my claims for the aesthetics of radio drama are supported by recent accounts of metaphor in music. (shrink)
I defend the conception of musical works as indicated temporally initiated types against Julian Dodd's recent argument that all types are eternal and uncreated. In doing so, I develop a new account of both cultural and natural types. While types are in a certain sense determined by the properties that underlie them, not all properties determine types; and properties such as being indicated by Beethoven exist only once the temporally initiated entities that those properties essentially involve exist. A cultural type (...) such as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is a sound pattern that has the essential property of being used in the way specified by Beethoven's singling out of that pattern. (Natural types, such as bird songs or biological species, are patterns having places in actual causal chains in nature.) Given this framework, the Fifth Symphony is an indicated type that was, in a straightforward literal sense, created by Beethoven in 1804–1808. (shrink)
Can an understanding be formed of how sensory experience might be presented or manipulated in visual art in order to promote a relational concept of the senses, in opposition to the customary, capitalist notion of sensation as a private possession, as a sensory impression that is mine? I ask the question in the light of recent visual art theory and practice which pursue relational, ecological ambitions. As Arnold Berleant, Nicolas Bourriaud, and Grant Kester see it, ecological ambition and artistic form (...) should correspond, but they fail to recognize sensation as a site where the ecological cause can be fought. Jacques Rancière argues for the political force of the senses, but his distribution of the sensible does not address the particularity of sensory experience. I identify the difference between these approaches within recent relational or ecological aesthetics and my position on sensibility, and indicate some of the problems involved in referring to the senses. I set out the concepts that are central to the cultivation of relational sensibility: style, autofiguration, and the mobility of sensory meaning, extrapolated from Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s discussion of Paul Cézanne. They amount to positioning the senses ontologically as movements along lines of conceptual-sensory connection and implication, based on the transfer of meanings created artistically through style and autofiguration. (shrink)
There is some intuitive plausibility to the idea that composers create musical works by indicating sonic types in a historical context. But the idea is technically indefensible as it stands, requiring a thorough representational reform that also eliminates the type-theoretic commitments of current versions. On the reformed account, musical 'indication' is an operation of high level representational interpretation of concrete sounds, that can both explain the creativity of composers, and the often successful interpretations of their listeners. This approach also bypasses (...) contentious issues regarding the status of both indicated and 'initiated' types, as extensively discussed in the BJA. (shrink)
Based on a conception that a musical composition is constituted by normative properties, it is argued that every such composition has one ideal performance—a performance that fulfils all the aesthetic-normative properties that the composition determines. A performance is conceived of (and evaluated) as inherently and essentially ‘intentionalistic’—being, by its very nature, a performance of a certain composition. This conception allows for various different performances, none of which is preferable over the others. The properties concerned are conceived of broadly as comprising (...) not only the tones themselves and various ‘theoretical’ features such as thematic relations, harmonic progressions, rhythmical structures, but also descriptive, emotive, and ‘rhetorical’ properties, which are ‘objective’ properties of the composition. It is further claimed that these are indicated in the score when properly understood in the light, inter alia, of pertinent conventions, which are the business of theoreticians and musicologists to determine. The main significance of the result lies both in highlighting some important implications of the intentionalistic character of a performance, and in the style of conceptual connection it indicates between a musical composition, its aesthetic-normative properties, and features of performance or ways of fulfilling them. (shrink)
There are indications of a positive trend in education. International comparative investigations on academic achievement (Programme for International Student Assessment, PISA) and longitudinal studies on life courses prove the need for and the importance of children’s high intellectual knowledge. At the same time, new research initiatives and projects comply with the demand that aesthetic/cultural education1 be “more” than a marginal complement to intellectual education and instead be “fundamental for thinking and acting.”2 Aesthetic education is to provide soft skills, to shape (...) children’s characters, and to improve their social competences, representing “the Other of school.”3 The text below deals with poetry for .. (shrink)
Conservation biologists and other environmentalists confront five obstacles in building support for regulatory policies that seek to exclude or remove introduced plants and other non-native species that threaten to harm natural areas or the natural environment. First, the concept of “harm to the natural environment” is nebulous and undefined. Second, ecologists cannot predict how introduced species will behave in natural ecosystems. If biologists cannot define “harm” or predict the behavior of introduced species, they must target all non-native species as potentially (...) “harmful”. an impossibly large regulatory task. Third, loss of species richness may constitute harm to an environment, but introduced organisms typically, generally, and significantly add to species richness in ecosystems. If species richness correlates with desirable ecosystem properties, moreover, such as stability and productivity, as some ecologists believe, then introduced organisms, by increasing species richness, would support those desirable properties. Fourth, one may plausibly argue that extinction constitutes environmental harm, but there is no evidence that non-native species, especially plants, are significant causes of extinction, except for predators in certain lakes and other small island-like environments. Fifth, while aesthetic, ethical, and spiritual values may provide a legitimate basis for invasive species policy, biologists often cite concepts such as “biodiversity” and ecosystem “health” or “integrity” to provide a scientific justification. To assert that non-native species threaten biodiversity or undermine ecosystem health, however, may be to draw conceptual entailments or consequences from definitions of “biodiversity” and “integrity” that arbitrarily exclude non-native species or make the presence of exotic species a per se indicator of decline. (shrink)
A work of music is repeatable in the following sense: it can be multiply performed or played in different places at the same time, and each such datable, locatable performance or playing is an occurrence of it: an item in which the work itself is somehow present, and which thereby makes the work manifest to an audience. As I see it, the central challenge in the ontology of musical works is to come up with an ontological proposal (i.e. an account (...) of what sort of thing a work of music is) which enables us to explain what such repeatability consists in, whilst doing maximal justice to the way in which we conceive of musical works in our reflective critical and appreciative practice. To this end, many have found it tempting to defend some version or other of the type-token theory : the thesis that a work is a type and its occurrences are its tokens. Much of the early debate prompted by the publication of Jerrold Levinson's seminal 'What a Musical Work Is' in 1980 has taken the type-token theory for granted, choosing to focus on how musical works, qua types, are individuated. (A key question here has been whether we should hold, with the sonicist , that works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike; or whether we should agree with Levinson's contextualist thesis that exact sound-alikes are distinct, if composed in distinct musico-historical contexts.) More recently, however, the type-token theory itself has been put under pressure, and alternatives have been suggested. So, e.g. Gregory Currie and David Davies have held versions of the thesis that musical works (and artworks generally) are acts of composition, whilst Guy Rohrbaugh has recommended that we think more innovatively about our metaphysical categories, and treat musical works (along with all repeatable artworks) as historical individuals . Historical individuals, like particular substances, come into and go out of existence, could have been somewhat different than they are, and can change through time; but such items, unlike particular substances, are nonetheless capable of having occurrences. In the last few years, ontologists of music have also stepped back to consider the very nature of their enterprise. In particular, a debate has ensued concerning the cogency of ontological proposals (such as those of Nelson Goodman, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Julian Dodd) that are substantially revisionary of our folk concept of a work of music. Amie Thomasson, David Davies and Andrew Kania occupy, to a greater or lesser degree, the descriptivist standpoint, according to which such revisionary ontologies are misconceived. The debate between revisionists and descriptivists in the ontology of music – if prosecuted against the backdrop of an awareness of developments in meta-ontology more generally – is a particularly fertile area in the philosophy of music at present. Author Recommends Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects . 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This seminal study nicely introduces and motivates the type-token theory, and in the course of doing so, helpfully, although perhaps contentiously, distinguishes types from both sets and properties. Wollheim's treatment was to a large part responsible for stimulating the subsequent debate as to the ontological nature of musical works. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is.' Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980); reprinted in his Music, Art and Metaphysics , 63–88. This paper has, perhaps, been the most influential account of the nature of musical works, post-Wollheim. Presuming the type-token theory to be correct, Levinson elaborates it by claiming musical works to be, not sound structures (i.e. structured patterns of sound-types), but a species of types he calls indicated structures . According to Levinson, a work of music is not to be identified with its sound structure, S ; it is, in fact, a compound of S and a performance-means structure, PM , as indicated (typically, via a score) by its composer on a certain occasion : something that we can represent as S/PM -as-indicated-by- X -at- t . Such indicated structures, Levinson argues, fit the bill for being what works of music are, because they come into being with their indication (i.e. their composition), are individuated in terms of the musico-historical context in which they were composed, and have their specified performance-means (i.e. their instrumentation) essentially. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Part I of this book sees Wolterstorff defend a Platonistic version of the type-token theory (although Wolterstorff calls them 'kinds' rather than 'types'). According to Wolterstorff, considerations about the existence conditions of types commit us to the thesis that works of music, qua types, are entities that cannot come into or go out of existence. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. In this article, Kivy ingeniously (and wittily) defends a variety of Platonism about works of music against the animadversions of Levinson. Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Here Currie introduces and defends the thesis that works of music (and, indeed, all artworks) are compositional action-types. The book also contains some well-aimed criticisms of Levinson's account. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. In this book, Dodd defends the type-token theory, but argues that no version of it can escape the Platonisic consequence that musical works exist at all times (and hence, are discovered, rather than created, by their composers). Dodd also defends another controversial thesis, this time concerning musical works' individuation. According to Dodd, and pace Levinson and others, sonicism is correct: works that sound exactly alike are identical. Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals.' European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2003): 177–205. In this essay, Rohrbaugh makes some pointed criticisms of the type-token theory of repeatable artworks in the course of arguing that such works should be viewed, not as types, but as historical individuals (see above). Rohrbaugh suggests that treating musical works as historical individuals best captures our intuitions about such works' temporal and modal characteristics, and, in the course of elaborating his position, he makes some meta-ontological claims that see him endorsing a non-revisionary, descriptivist approach to the ontology of art. As Rohrbaugh sees it, ontologies of art are 'beholden to our artistic practices' (179), and 'aesthetics should not be beholden to the metaphysics on offer, but rather should drive new work in metaphysics' (197). Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology,' Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 203–220. This paper sees Ridley outlining a sceptical attitude towards the project of formulating ontological proposals. In his view, a 'serious philosophical engagement with music is orthogonal to, and may well in fact be impeded by, the pursuit of ontological issues' (203). Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.' JAAC 63 (2005:221–9). Thomasson defends descriptivism in the ontology of art by arguing that such a position is a consequence of the only defensible solution to a problem in the theory of reference: the so-called 'qua' problem concerning how the reference of a term can be fixed. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Davies' position is characterised by two theses: one methodological, the other ontological. The methodological claim is that the ontology of art faces a pragmatic constraint : roughly speaking, the ontology of art is answerable to the epistemology of art. The ontological claim is that the rigorous enforcement of the pragmatic constraint commits us to the thesis that all artworks are compositional action-tokens. Online Materials http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/philosophy/article_view?article_id=phco_articles_bpL173 Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–34. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557784/abstract Thomasson, Amie. 'Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?' Philosophy Compass 1/3 (2006): 245–55. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122517227/abstract Davies, David. 'Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.' forthcoming in Philosophy Compass . doi: [DOI link] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/music/ Kania, Andrew. 'The Philosophy of Music.' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Sample Mini-Syllabus Week 1: The Type/Token Theory Introduced Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects , §§4–8, 21–3, 35–7. Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music , chapter 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Week 2: The Type/Token Theory and Platonism in Music Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapters 2–5. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence.' American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987): 245–52. Predelli, Stefano. 'Against Musical Platonism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (1995): 338–50. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Can a Musical Work be Created?' British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2004): 113–34. Week 3: Musical Works as Indicated Structures Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is, Again', in his Music, Art and Metaphysics . Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. 215–63. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works as Eternal Types.' British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2000). Davies, Stephen. Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Account , chapter 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Howell, Robert. 'Types, Indicated and Initiated.' British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 105–27. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Fine Individuation.' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007): 113–37. Week 4: Musical Work as Historical Individuals Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 6. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending Musical Perdurantism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 59–69. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending "Defending Musical Perdurantism".' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 331–37. Week 5: Musical Works as Compositional Actions Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 7. Week 6: Meta-ontology of Music: What are we Doing When we do the Ontology of Music? Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology'. Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics'. Thomasson, Amie. Ordinary Objects , chapter 11. OUP, 2007. Davies, David. 'The Primacy of Practice in the Ontology of Art.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2009): 159–72. Kania, Andrew. 'Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology,' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 65–79. Kania, Andrew. 'The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 426–44. Cameron, Ross. 'There are No Things That are Musical Works.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 295–314. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–1134. doi: [DOI link] Focus Questions 1. Are musical works literally created by their composers? 2. Critically examine Levinson's thesis that musical works are 'indicated structures'. 3. What, if anything, is wrong with the thesis that musical works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike? 4. Should we immediately be sceptical of ontological proposals for works of music that are substantially revisionary of the way in which we ordinarily think of them? (shrink)
In his essay The Origin of the Work of Art, Martin Heidegger discusses three examples of artworks: a painting by Van Gogh of peasant shoes, a poem about a Roman fountain, and a Greek temple. The new entry on Heidegger’s aesthetics in the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy, written by Iain Thomson, focuses on this essay, and Van Gogh’s painting in particular. It argues that Heidegger uses Van Gogh’s painting to set art, as the happening of truth, in relation to ‘nothing’, (...) which is a key term in Heidegger’s essays leading up to The Origin of the Work of Art. This paper extends a similar analysis to the Greek temple as a way of offering an exposition of Heidegger’s concerns in the essay. It begins by briefly outlining Thomson’s argument that Heidegger relates Van Gogh’s painting to ‘nothing’, and indicating the way this argument can be extended to the Greek temple. It then discusses three ways in which ‘nothing’ can open up the significance of the temple as a work of art in which truth happens: (1) it is not concerned with objective representation; (2) it depicts the primal strife of earth and world, concealing and unconcealing; (3) it is fundamentally historical. (shrink)
Including the substantial Introduction by Richard Eldridge, this volume consists of nine previously unpublished essays each of which focuses upon a single region of Cavell’s work. While the scope of the issues considered in the volume can be only incompletely indicated by listing the regions addressed, they include: ethics, philosophy of action, the normativity of language, aesthetics and modernism, American philosophy, Shakespeare, film, television, and opera, and the relation of Cavell’s work to German philosophy and Romanticism. The volume also contains (...) a useful index, and a brief annotated bibliography of works by and about Cavell. (shrink)
A rationalist and realist model of scientific revolutions will be constructed by reference to two categories of criteria of theory-evaluation, denominated indicators of truth and of beauty. Whereas indicators of truth are formulateda priori and thus unite science in the pursuit of verisimilitude, aesthetic criteria are inductive constructs which lag behind the progression of theories in truthlikeness. Revolutions occur when the evaluative divergence between the two categories of criteria proves too wide to be recomposed or overlooked. This model of revolutions (...) depends upon a substantial new treatment of aesthetic criteria in science with which much of the paper will therefore be occupied. (shrink)
Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is (...) about nature's disregard for details. (shrink)
Science has more to offer than just knowledge of nature; it can give us understanding of nature as well. Epistemology of science is usually focused on knowledge and the criteria of justification, while paying little attention to understanding. In a reversal of this emphasis, this article is more about scientific understanding. I argue that the hallmarks of understanding are similar to an aesthetic feature associated with literature, music, and the visual arts. It is the feature described as coherence, harmony, and (...) inevitability of fit. Aesthetics thus plays an epistemic role in science as an indication of understanding. (shrink)
This paper explores the ethical aspects of an investigation into a forester's perception of his landscape. Three different ethical issues are addressed. The first issue concerns the ethics associated with the methodology of ethnology. The second concerns a forester's ethics. An example is provided which indicates how he applies values and aesthetics to the landscape in which he lives and works. Finally, the ethics of wilderness is discussed, concentrating on the different ways in which people perceive wilderness and wilderness issues, (...) depending on their relationship with the forest landscape. The article concludes by questioning whether the ways in which wilderness is culturally constructed can lead to misconceptions about human-forest interaction, and by asking whether emphasis on wilderness as a positive value has been exaggerated. (shrink)
In discussing the cultural history of the 19th century, Walter Benjamin diagnosed the emergence of the modern novel and its form of narration as the sign of a fracturing experience. The split in experience is related to the scattering of a homogeneous idea of space and time, constituted especially during the Enlightenment and in the German historicism. Benjamin's claim reflected the fracturing temporality of modern communities as well as the transformations in the understanding of the meaning of tradition. Here, I (...) begin by discussing Benjamin's conceptions of experience and memory in detail. Secondly, I consider his ideas on history in the framework of challenging the new forms of narration. In the end, I consider the loss of a unified community, especially by indicating ways in which the after-modern community reflects the relationship between aesthetics and politics in Jean-François Lyotard's thought. Key Words: Benjamin community experience history Lyotard memory narrative remembrance time. (shrink)
I reply to the main criticisms and suggestions for further clarification made by the contributors to this symposium on my book, Self-Expression . These replies are organized into the following sections: (1) What's in the name?, (2) Showing, expressing and indicating, (3) Expressing and signaling, (4) Perceiving emotions, (5) Voluntary/involuntary, (6) Expression and handicaps, (7) Expression and aesthetics, and (8) Looking ahead.
Charles S. Peirce believed that his pragmatic philosophy could reconcile religion and science and that this reconciliation involves a religious ethics creating a real community with the cosmos and God. After some rival pragmatic approaches to God and religious belief inconsistent with Peirce's philosophy are set aside, his metaphysical plan for a reconciliation of religion and science is outlined. A panentheistic God makes the best match with his desired conclusions from the Neglected Argument for the reality of God, and this (...) God is also capable of fulfilling the pragmatic role demanded by Peirce's ethical expectations for the intelligent functioning of religion. The discussion proceeds to an elaboration of the aesthetic, metaphysical, and ethical elements of Peirce's philosophical system, which indicate why Peirce's religious ethics is best categorized as akin to Stoicism, with some Christian elements. For Peirce, religious ethics proceeds from the (potentially universal) agapic community's cooperation with God's loving creativity of the universe. (shrink)
What is it that we lack in everyday life that causes us to value art so highly? This article argues that (almost) all values are to be understood in terms of a needs-satisfaction system, and hence that the value of art can be understood only with reference to the state of the appreciator prior to engagement with the artwork. Aesthetic appreciation can be analysed as a process, which can be described in empirically based psychological terms, leading to a functional view (...) of aesthetic experience as potentially enhancing the individual's orientation at sensory, cognitive, and interpersonal levels; our motivation is a special form of pleasure. Various objections are then considered, with particular attention to the role of pleasure in connection with tragedy; the relation of art to related cultural pursuits is also briefly indicated. (shrink)
This is the first collection of the writings of Edmund Burke which precede Reflections on the Revolution in France, and the first to do justice to the connections and breadth of Burke's thought. A thinker whose range transcends formal boundaries, Burke has been highly prized by both conservatives and liberals, and this new edition charts the development of Burke's thought and its importance as a response to the events of his day. Burke's mind spanned theology, aesthetics, moral philosophy and history, (...) as well as the political affairs of Ireland, England, America, India and France, and he united these concerns in his view of inequality. In the writings in this edition Burke indicated how societies embodying revealed religion and social hierarchy could sustain civilisation and political liberty. These thoughts reached their apogee in Reflections on the Revolution in France. This edition provides the student with all the necessary information for an understanding of the complexities of Burke's thought. Each text is prefaced by a summary and notes to the texts elucidate the literary and historical references. An introduction and biographical and bibliographical essays help place these works in the context of Burke's thought as a whole. (shrink)
Brecht's relationship to Marxism is extremely important and highly complex. From the 1920s until his death in 1956, Brecht identified himself as a Marxist; when he returned to Germany after World War II, he chose the German Democratic Republic (GDR), where his actress wife Helene Weigel and he formed their own theater troupe, the famed Berliner Ensemble, and were eventually given a state theater to run. Yet Brecht's relationship to orthodox Marxist officials and doctrine was often conflictual, and his own (...) work and life were highly idiosyncratic. Of a strongly anti-bourgeois disposition from his youth, the young Brecht was also initially repelled by Bolshevism. He experienced the German revolution of 1918 with some ambivalence and dedicated himself to literary and not political activity during the turbulent early years of the Weimar republic. He recorded in his Diaries, for example, a negative response to a talk he heard on 1920 on the Soviet Union in which he was repelled by the concept of socialist order he heard discussed. He indicated a negative impression of Bolshevism and conclude his entry by noting that he rather have a new car than socialism! (shrink)
My pleasure in being here, at the Studiecentrum Soeterbeeck, to discuss the book Roger Scruton wrote on beauty, is twofold. It so happens that I am ﬁnishing a book on facial expression and facial beauty, and the chapter I sent to Roger to request his comments, resurfaced unopened in my own mail box, last week. Apparently something went wrong in the mail. Today I might get some of those comments. Secondly, reading Roger’s book, an impression of a kindred spirit has (...) stuck with me throughout.1) Sometimes, though, something like an ungrounded preference surfaces, which for Roger, clearly has intuitive force, maybe even the force of a conclusion, but for me this doesn’t always ring true. I only mention two instances where my own preferences would be diﬀerent. One is, where after rightly criticising the reverence allotted to Duchamp’s Fountain, in a single sentence (on p. 98) both Radiohead and Brahms are mentioned, in an obvious eﬀort to disqualify the former. The other is where he defends ﬁlm as an art by comparing it to traditional art, by pointing to shots from an Ingmar Bergman movie, which “would sit on your wall like an engraving, resonant, engaging and composed.” (p. 102). What the incidental surfacing of such preferences makes available to us is that doing aesthetics is not a merely technical philosophical endeavour, but involves art criticism, from time to time. If you don’t love art or its core values, how could you do aesthetics? And there is a deeper thought behind this in Roger’s writings: that the use of taste belongs to the good life.2) All this, also, indicates my predicament, here and now. I feel most inclined.. (shrink)
The self evolved out of a sense of somatic motor orientation and body boundary awareness; and affective states as motivators furthered in conjunction with a sense of self evolutionary speciation. Affective states form to a greater extent than cognition the sense of experiential reality that is taken for granted. Neurophysiological and experiential culture-invariant evidence indicate the existence of eight (and possibly ten) basic affective states in mammals. These affective states have in humans found expression in mythic terms as well as (...) in the basic themes of world literature. According to classical Indian introspective analysis of aesthetics the basic emotions determine human activity and are the well- spring of literature and art, especially if the emotions become dis- sociated from a sense of egocentricity, i.e. if they become detached from a sense of self so that they no longer are in uenced by ex- istential fear. The comparatively close similarity between Indian aesthetics and the neurophysiology of the different affective states suggests the possibility that such aesthetic value judgments may be based on widespread evolutionary determinants. (shrink)
Abstract Experimental research with human infants has demonstrated a level of sensitivity to music comparable to that of musically unsophisticated adults. This evidence points to the biologically hard?wired nature of musical responsivity, and further raises the question of the evolutionary roots of the phenomenon. The question is addressed by examining (1) the ontogenetic and phylogenetic order in which speech and music are acquired, (2) the possible adaptive properties of music and dance, and (3) cognitive evolutionary retrodictions about the period in (...) prehistory when art began. Much uncertainty continues to surround these issues, but there is a strong indication that the performing and visual arts are natural phenomena with distinctively different evolutionary roots. (shrink)
Exemplification is the relation of an example to whatever it is an example of. Goodman maintains that exemplification is a symptom of the aesthetic: although not a necessary condition, it is an indicator that symbol is functioning aesthetically. I argue that exemplification is as important in science as it is in art. It is the vehicle by which experiments make aspects of nature manifest. I suggest that the difference between exemplars in the arts and the sciences lies in the way (...) they exemplify. Density and repleteness (among the other symptoms of the aesthetic) are characteristic of aesthetic exemplars but not of scientific ones. doi: 10.5007 / 1808-1711.2011v15n3p399. (shrink)
These essays represent an attempt to understand the Chinese mind through its philosophy. The first volume of its kind, the collection demonstrates how Chinese philosophy can be understood in light of techniques and categories taken from Western philosophy. Eight philosophers, each of whom is a recognized authority in Western philosophy as well as in some area of Chinese philosophy, contribute chapters from perspectives that indicate the uniqueness of the Chinese way of thinking in categories adapted from Western philosophy. The book (...) covers a wide range of topics including metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logic, the history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, and western parallels and non-parallels of philosophical development. (shrink)
In the poetics of Gaston Bachelard, the natural images, especially the four elements (fire, water, air, earth), occupy the eminent place for literary imagination. Under this main frame, this paper tries to present the relation of ethics and aesthetics in focusing on the ethical image as a synthetic concept. It also argues that the poetic imagination in Bachelard presupposes a metaphysical base managing the being, the force, the will, and the action. There is a dynamic structure in this metaphysics of (...) imagination. Notwithstanding the usual separation of different spheres in philosophy, Bachelard urges a primary fusion in the cosmic scale, i.e.the world and the human are communicative and correspondent. Taking these principles into consideration, this paper explores the topological dimension in those poetic images of elements and space. The ontological sense of being-there is evaluated by the dynamic function of “there” in restoring its ethical meaning. Likewise, the terms “in front of the fire”, “before the water”, “in the water” are given the topological accents. The verticality indicating the dynamic function of the flight, of the falling, and of standing upright is topologically effective. In accordance to the verticality, the concept of survival contains an effect of surpassing the existential conditions, the prefix “sur-“ means that tentative of the higher degree. In sum, the cosmicity as the very place of ethical and ontological unificationreveals Bachelard’s concern on the imaginative transformation of the personality, the appropriation in the cosmos. (shrink)
It was once thought that solely humans were capable of complex cognition but research has produced substantial evidence to the contrary. Art and music, however, are largely seen as unique to humans and the evidence seems to be overwhelming, or is it? Art indicates the creation of something novel, not naturallyoccurring in the environment. To prove its presence or absence in animals is difficult. Moreover, connections between music and language at a neuroscientific as well as a behavioural level are not (...) fully explored to date. Even more problematic is the notion of an aesthetic sense. Music, so it is said, can be mimetic, whereas birdsong is not commonly thought of as being mimetic but as either imitation or mimicry and, in the latter case, as a ‘mindless’ act (parrots parroting). This paper will present a number of examples in which animals show signs of responsiveness to music and even engage in musical activity and this will be discussed from an ethological perspective. A growing body of research now reports that auditory memory and auditory mechanisms in animals are not as simplistic as once thought and evidence suggests, in some cases, the presence of musical abilities in animals. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to describe how hermeneutic photography and one application of hermeneutic photography in particular, namely the photo-instrument, can be used as a health care intervention that fosters meaning (re-)construction of mental illness experiences. Studies into the ways how patients construct meaning in illness narratives indicate that aesthetic expressions of experiences may play an important role in meaning making and sharing. The study is part of a larger research project devoted to understanding the photostories that result (...) from groups of psychiatric patients using the photo-instrument. Within a focused ethnography approach we employed a qualitative design of a single case study. Text analysis of photostories was combined with observational data. Data were analyzed using hermeneutic theory. Participant observations were used for triangulation and complementarity. The interaction and collaboration between health care professionals and patients in the context of a photo group emerged as core concept that underlies the photo-instrument. The interaction triggered a reframing of meaning in the patient’s illness narrative that offered new perspectives on positive identity growth. The role of visualizing meaning in images was found to lend a dynamic power to the process and triggered a dialectic between real life circumstances and imagination played out in the context of situated action. The findings suggest that a positive reframing of meaning in illness narratives is facilitated by the photo-instrument. (shrink)
This research tried to make a contribution to the discussion around the conditions, under which the ontological shift of the philosophical hermeneutics can be done. It began with an analysis of Gadamer's well-known formula: " Being that can be understood is language. (Sein, das verstanden werden kann, ist Sprache.)". Scholars interpret it differently. By means of the grammatical analysis, I showed on the one hand an interpretation of the formula from the perspective of pan‐lingualism as absurd, because they regard Being (...) and language as identical. On the other hand, an interpretation from the perspective of the linguistic ontology should be eliminated, according to which the being possesses a linguistic character, so that its unconcealment can complete itself without the effort ofunderstanding. The two interpretations come from a misunderstanding that they regard the subordinate clause of that formula as descriptive relative clause. There is still another interpretive problem, if we regard the subordinate clause as restrictive relative clause and thus interpret Gadamer's theory as linguistic idealism. However Gadamer indicates that such an interpretation remains on the level of German idealism, because it limits understanding to an intellectual grasping. Another reading of the subordinate clause as restrictive relative clause is appropriate, because it takes understanding as a practical ability (Können) into its consideration and at the same time emphasizes the non-identity between Being and language despite their ontological inseparableness. Gadamer finds out a linguistic theory, in order to support such kind of reading. He extends his principle of aesthetic non-differentiation to the range of language. By means of thislinguistic non-differentiation, the ontological shift of the hermeneutics can complete itself. (shrink)
This thesis is an interrogation of the viability of transitive production, which I associate with the Aristotelian term hylomorphic. The central axiom of hylomorphic production that will be targeted for critique is that the agent of production must be distinguished absolutely from the product. The thesis follows the thought of production primarily-but not exclusively-in its characteristically modem instantiation in the Kantian transcendental. The argument seeks to demonstrate that the productive aspect of the operator of transitive production is incompatible with the (...) transcendental element, and that Kant was himself increasingly aware of this problem. The Third Critique, under the rubric of an aesthetics, it will be argued, manifests this awareness in its problematic of a manifold of empirical laws. That this constitutes a difficulty for transcendent idealism means that the transcendental operators of the First Critique have failed to constitute experience in a relevant and important way. Furthermore, it is possible to see in some of the famous slogans of the Third Critique, an indication of another mode of production which is immune to the difficulties of the axiom of transitive production. In conclusion I suggest that the consequences of this new mode of intransitive production, associated with materiality, is destructive of the thought of the axiomatic otherworldliness of production operators. Production is not operated at all. Some suggestions are then made as to the explanation of the error embodied in the axiom of transitivity. (shrink)
I argue that the term "interactive" should be considered a general-purpose term that indicates something about whatever it is applied to, whether that is art, artifact, or nature. I base my definition in the notion of "interacting with" something. First, I look for essential features of this relation, and then using these features, I develop a notion of interactivity that can help distinguish the interactive from non-interactive arts. Although I am skeptical of the benefits interactivity affords, interactive artworks are significant (...) in that they are the first instances of mass art to be truly "concreative." Prior to building a definition of interactivity, I provide a novel reading of Collingwood in order to revive his notion of "concreativity" for contemporary application. In order to develop my theory of interactivity as mutual responsiveness, I analyze four problematic definitions of interactivity: (1) the control theory, (2) the making use theory, (3) the input/output theory, (4) Dominic McIver Lopes' modifiable structure theory, and (5) Janet Murray's procedural/participatory theory. In each case, I reveal a problem that my final notion solves. After presenting a definition of interactivity, I defend the viability of my theory against skeptical remarks that interactivity is a useless concept. To highlight the significance of my analysis, I analyze an argument against the value of concreative art—that interactivity is incompatible with narrative immersion. (shrink)
As philosophy's representative at an art college, a question is put to me by my colleagues, students, and other art-world types frequently enough that it is worth considering systematically: Why Rancière now? The query is in large part prompted by a recent issue of Artforum devoted to the work of the French philosopher Jacques Rancière, the publication of which caps a seemingly overnight ascendance within discussions of art and politics. The very temporality of the question indicates that the discovery of (...) Rancière by art professionals is a relatively recent development. Why is this taking place now? To begin to answer this question, we must first understand something about the current relationship between .. (shrink)
The paper distinguishes between two different senses of ‘genius’ found in Kant's Critique of Judgement, and criticizes an argument commonly attributed to Kant. The argument is in support of the conclusion that an agent must possess and employ genius in the ‘productive faculty’ sense in order to produce an artwork. It is shown that Kant did not in fact make this argument. He defended a different claim concerning the need to employ the concept of a productive faculty of genius in (...) order to make pure judgements of taste concerning artworks. I conclude with the suggestion that there are indications in Kant's theory of a significant departure from a tradition of thought according to which there is something essentially mysterious about the possibility of the production of fine art. (shrink)
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Musical Platonists identify musical works with abstract sound structures but this implies that they are not created but only discovered. Jerrold Levinson adapts Platonism to allow for creation by identifying musical works with indicated sound structures. In this paper I explore the similarities between Levinson’s view and Kit Fine’s theory of qua objects. Fine offers the theory of qua objects as an account of..
The representational content or subject matter of a picture is normally distinguished from various non-representational components of meaning involved in artworks, such as expressive, stylistic or intentional factors. However, I show how such non subject matter components may themselves be analyzed in content terms, if two different categories of representation are recognized--aspect indication for stylistic etc. factors, and normal representation for subject matter content. On the account given, the relevant kinds of content are hierarchically structured, with relatively unconceptualized lower level (...) aspectual contents encoding or symbolizing higher level conceptualized representational subject matter. Such an account is strongly supported by the latest findings of cognitive science regarding levels of conceptualization. The paper also demonstrates how the account given is compatible with the actual pictorial competence of normal viewers of visual artworks. (shrink)
Recent work in the ontology of music suggests that we will avoid confusion if we distinguish between two kinds of question that are typically posed in music ontology. Thus, a distinction has been made between fundamental ontology and higher-order ontology. The former addresses questions about the basic metaphysical options from which ontologists choose. For instance, are musical works types, indicated types, classes of particulars, or some other kind of entity? Higher-order ontology addresses the question of what lies ‘at the centre’ (...) of a specific form of music, such as rock or jazz—or perhaps classical music. The argument of this essay is, first, that a close examination of the best efforts in two of these territories shows that they have the effect of pressing the music in each sphere into implausible Procrustean beds. Second, it is argued that the general question that higher-order ontologies pose, that is, ‘What work-kind is it that lies at the centre of a given kind of music, F?’ is a question based on a mistaken but seductive assumption, namely that the concept of the work of F has actual application. In fact, these concepts—upon which higher-order ontology depends—are mere artefacts of philosophy. The question is also addressed why the assumption is so seductive. Finally, the question finally is posed about what, if anything, is implied from the foregoing about the traditional ontology of classical music. (shrink)
And in general it is a sign of the man who knows and of the man who does not know that the former can teach, and therefore we think art more truly knowledge than experience is; for the artist can teach, and men of experience cannot. When pragmatism first gained favor in the early twentieth century, some British philosophers like Russell regarded it as evidencing their perception of America’s crude and enterprising spirit.1 The Imperial jab lay in this: that just (...) as business indicates the exchange of products and services to meet basic needs as well as others, for the pragmatist, knowledge is tied to social practices and instrumentality (that is, being able to effect changes in the world). The slight lies .. (shrink)
I criticize Julian Dodd's Platonist conception of musical works as discovered eternal types, and defend and elaborate upon Jerrold Levinson's conception of musical works as creatable indicated types. I raise broadly three sorts of worries for Dodd. First, I argue that Dodd conflates types with Platonist universals in claiming that types are eternal and discovered. Secondly, I raise worries for Dodd's Platonist claim that musical works are discovered not created. Here I argue that Dodd's claim goes against our current musical (...) practice. I then argue that Dodd's view leads to a false divide across the arts, and defend this claim from Dodd's criticisms. I also defend the claim that Dodd's view robs artists of the special status we give to them as creators, not merely creative discoverers. I suggest also that musical works can not only be created but can also plausibly cease to exist, which Dodd's Platonism would seem to deny. Thirdly and finally, I defend the conception of musical works as indicated types from Dodd's criticisms. Here I argue that Dodd's view is ontologically profligate. I also submit that Dodd is mistaken in thinking that indicated types have times as their constituents and thus must be events. (shrink)
At least some (perhaps the most serious) moral problems, public as well as private, concern the ways in which we should construe and specify the problems we face. The present paper, as the subtitle indicates, reexamines the conscience of Huckleberry Finn, which means both that I provide a close reading of key chapters of Mark Twain’s great novel and that I engage Jonathan Bennett’s well-known and oft-cited paper, “The Conscience of Huckleberry Finn.” Bennett tells us, early in his paper, that (...) an episode in chapter 16 of the novel “brilliantly illustrates how fiction can be instructive about real life.”1 I agree that fiction can teach us about life—though of course living beings must judge fiction’s .. (shrink)
The ultimate aim of artistic exploration is to explore the claim that objects are different from experience and beauty is just a by-product of the exploration. In other words, the truth in the eyes of each person may quite literarly not be the same. A typical example is that some art archaeologists attribute the artistic achievements of Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne to their eye diseases.1 Saying this, however, is somewhat unreliable—just like we could not arbitrarily say that the (...) world in the eyes of animals, who have a completely different physciological and optic nerve structure, is quite diferent from that of humans. This indicates that differences in the visual apparatus influence the viewing body’s .. (shrink)
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of J STOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. J STOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non—commercial use.
The phrase “the end of art” has a long association with Arthur C. Danto.1 Indeed, Danto popularized the idea and offered an explanation of this puzzling notion. How could there have been an end of art when it has robustly continued? For this question to make sense, the meaning of “end” is not in the sense of termination, finality, or death in a literal, physical sense. So in 1912 when Marius de Zayas pronounced “art is dead,” he must have thought (...) the historical circumstances warranted it and found the metaphor illuminating: “[Art’s] present movements are not at all indications of vitality; they are not even the convulsions of agony prior to death; they are the mechanical reflex actions of a corpse.”2 In less .. (shrink)