In this essay, then, I would like to address what I believe are the most compelling epistemic arguments against the notion that literature (and art more broadly) can function as an instrument of education and a source of knowledge.
In Art and intention Paisley Livingston develops a broad and balanced perspective on perennial disputes between intentionalists and anti-intentionalists in philosophical aesthetics and critical theory. He surveys and assesses a wide range of rival assumptions about the nature of intentions and the status of intentionalist psychology. With detailed reference to examples from diverse media, art forms, and traditions, he demonstrates that insights into the multiple functions of intentions have important implications for our understanding of artistic creation and authorship, the ontology (...) of art, conceptions of texts, works, and versions, basic issues pertaining to the nature of fiction and fictional truth, and the theory of art interpretation and appreciation. Livingston argues that neither the inspirationist nor rationalistic conceptions can capture the blending of deliberate and intentional, spontaneous and unintentional processes in the creation of art. Texts, works, and artistic structures and performances cannot be adequately individuated in the absence of a recognition of the relevant makers4intentions. The distinction between complete and incomplete works receives an action-theoretic analysis that makes possible an elucidation of several different senses of "fragment" in critical discourse. Livingston develops an account of authorship, contending that the recognition of intentions is in fact crucial to our understanding of diverse forms of collective art-making. An artist's short-term intentions and long-term plans and policies interact in complex ways in the emergence of an artistic oeuvre, and our uptake of such attitudes makes an important difference to our appreciation of the relations between items belonging to a single life-work. The intentionalism Livingston advocates is, however, a partial one, and accommodates a number of important anti-intentionalist contentions. Intentions are fallible, and works of art, like other artefacts, can be put to a bewildering diversity of uses. Yet some important aspects of art's meaning and value are linked to the artist's aims and activities. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction, by Michael Weisberg and Jeffrey Kovac. -- 1 Trying to Understand, Making Bonds, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 1: Chemical Reasoning and Explanation -- 2. Why Buy That Theory?, by Roald Hoffmann. -- 3. What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?, by Roald Hoffmann -- 4. Unstable, by Roald Hoffmann -- 5. Nearly Circular Reasoning, by Roald Hoffmann -- 6. Ockham's Razor and Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann, (...) Vladimir I. Minkin, and Barry K. Carpenter -- 7. Qualitative Thinking in the Age of Modern Computational Chemistry, or What Lionel Salem Knows, by Roald Hoffmann -- 8. Narrative, by Roald Hoffmann -- 9. Learning from Molecules in Distress, by Roald Hoffmann and Henning Hopf -- 10. Why Think Up New Molecules? by Roald Hoffmann -- 11. Protean, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 12. How Should Chemists Think? by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 2: Writing and Communicating in Chemistry -- 13. Under the Surface of the Chemical Article, by Roald Hoffmann -- 14. Representation in Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 15.. The Say of Things, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 16. How Symbolic and Iconic Languages Bridge the Two Worlds of the Chemist: A Case Study from Contemporary Bioorganic Chemistry, by Emily R. Grosholz and Roald Hoffmann -- 17 How Nice to Be an Outsider, by Roald Hoffmann -- 18. The Metaphor, Unchained, by Roald Hoffmann, -- Part 3: Art and Science -- 19. Art in Science? by Roald Hoffmann -- 20. Science and Crafts by Roald Hoffmann -- 21. Molecular Beauty, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 4 Chemical Education -- 22. Teach to Search by Roald Hoffmann -- 23. Some Heretical Thoughts on What Our Students Are Telling Us, by Roald Hoffmann and Brian P. Coppola -- 24 Very Specific Teaching Strategies, and Why They Work, by Roald Hoffmann and Saundra Y. McGuire -- Part 5 Ethics in Science -- 25. Mind the Shade, by Roald Hoffmann -- 26. Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium," by Roald Hoffmann -- 27. Honesty to the Singular Object, by Roald Hoffmann -- 28. The Material and Spiritual Rationales Are Inseparable, by Roald Hoffmann -- Index. (shrink)
Over the last decade, aesthetic and art theory has played an increasingly significant role in the way work and its organization has come to be understood. Bringing together the work of an international spectrum of academics, this collection contributes, in an overall more critical vein, to such emerging debates. Combining both empirical and theoretical material, each chapter re-evaluates the emerging relationship between art, aesthetics, and work, exploring its potential as both a medium of critical analysis, and as a site of (...) conflict and resistance. (shrink)
Art and Morality is a collection of groundbreaking new papers on the theme of aesthetics and ethics, and the link between the two subjects. A group of world-class contributors tackle the important question that arise when one thinks about the moral dimensions of art and the aesthetic dimension of moral life. The volume is a significant contribution to the philosophical literature, opening up unexplored questions and shedding new light on more traditional debates in aesthetics. The topics explored include the relation (...) of aesthetic to ethical judgment; the relation of artistic experience to moral consciousness; the moral status of fiction; the concepts of sentimentality and decadence; the moral dimension of critical practice, pictorial art and music; the moral significance of tragedy; and the connections between artistic and moral issues elaborated in the writings of central figures in modern philosophy such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. (shrink)
Introduction -- Great Mother Nature -- The gendering of nature as female : from prehistory through the Middle Ages -- Nature and art in the Quattrocento : from pupil to equal -- Technology and the mastery of physical nature : Brunelleschi and Alberti -- Genesis and the reproduction of life : Masaccio and Michelangelo -- The rebirth of Venus and the feminization of beauty : Botticelli -- A balance of power : pictorial metaphors for nature in transition -- Nature's special (...) child : Leonardo da Vinci -- The goddess in Arcady : Giorgione -- Art and nature in the Cinquecento : from competitor to master -- Love and death in Venice : Titian -- Art against nature : Raphael, the early Mannerists, and late Michelangelo -- Natura bound : the later Tuscan Mannerists -- Epilogue. (shrink)
A timely and philosophically significant contribution to modern aesthetics featuring some of the best contemporary work in philosophical studies of literature, moral beliefs, and thinking in art Reflects the importance of a moral life of engagement with works of art Forms part of the prestigious New Directions in Aesthetics series, which confronts the most intriguing problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of art today.
What constitutes an event? Propelled by this question, Sounding the Event encounters a variety of theories and a host of issues that have implications for not only conceptions of nature and becoming, subject and substance but also practices of time, art and photography. This book explores dialogue in its writing and as it encounters the philosophical utterances of Michel Serres, Isabelle Stengers, Alfred North Whitehead, Jean-Franbliogçois Lyotard, Maurice Blanchot, Gilles Deleuze and Fbliogelix Guattari, and Alain Badiou.
Most "art and science" books focus on the science of perspective or the psychology of perception. Hidden Harmony does not. Instead, the book addresses the surprising common ground between physics and art from a novel and personal perspective. Viewing the two disciplines as creative processes, J. R. Leibowitz supplements existing and original research with illustrations to demonstrate that physics and art share guiding aesthetics and compositional demands and to show how each speaks meaningfully to the other. Leibowitz widens our experience (...) and understanding of both domains by exploring how concepts such as balance and re-balance, coherence and unity, and symmetry and "broken" symmetry affect and are affected by artistic vision and scientific principle. He reveals shared themes and understandings in each field and adroitly illustrates the parallels between the dabs of color and layers of images in a work of art and the particles of matter and packets of energy that compose the observable, physical world. Featuring examples of art images and complementary examples of physics concepts, this contemplative work helps us see art and physics as artists and physicists do. (shrink)
This book explores how the practice of art, in particular of avant-garde art, keeps our relation to time, history and even our own humanity open. Examining key moments in the history of both technology and art from the beginnings of industrialisation to today, Charlie Gere explores both the making and purpose of art and how much further it can travel from the human body.
Artists inspired by music and musicians -- Composers inspired by art and artists -- Twin talents : artist-musicians and musician-artists -- Musicians pose for the artists : a history of portrait iconography.
Darwin's art collection : the prints, drawings, and photographs Darwin collected in the 1860s and 70s -- Illustrations and illusion : strategies Darwin used in illustrating his books -- Art, experience, and observation : Darwin's knowledge of art history and use of illustration in his books -- Darwin and the passions : how passion manuals informed Darwin's research -- Photography and evolution meet : connections between photography and biology in the 1860s -- Method to their madness : how photography (...) in mental hospitals influenced Darwin -- Laughing and crying : Darwin's quest for pictures of expressive babies -- Darwin's eyes and ears : the artists who guided Darwin's search for pictures -- Darwin's art photographer : Oscar Rejlander, Darwin's favorite photographer -- Rejlander's performances : posing for Darwin's pictures -- Alice, eugenics, and the spirit world : the aftermath of Darwin's experiments. (shrink)
Defining the meaning and spiritual use of sacred art through its symbolic content and dependence on metaphysical principles, this work is wide in scope, covering Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Taoist art.
This book presents an innovative analysis of the role of imagination as a central concept in both literary and art criticism. Dee Reynolds brings this approach to bear on works by Rimbaud, Mallarme;, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. It allows her to redefine the relationship between Symbolism and abstract art, and to contribute new methodological perspectives to comparative studies of poetry and painting. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a crucial period in the emergence of new modes of representation, and (...) is currently at the forefront of critical enquiry. This is the first book to examine Symbolism and abstraction in this way, and the first to treat these poets and painters together. It is an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship in art history, literary history, and comparative aesthetics. (shrink)
Interpreting the everyday -- Art interpretation : the central issues -- A theory of art interpretation : substantive claims -- A theory of art interpretation : conceptual and ontological claims -- Radical constructivism -- Moderate and historical constructivism -- Interpretation and construction in the law -- Relativism versus pluralism.
Deconstruction and the Visual Arts brings together a series of new essays by scholars of aesthetics, art history and criticism, film, television and architecture. Working with the ideas of French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the essays explore the full range of his analyses. They are modelled on the variety of critical approaches that he has encouraged, from critiques of the foundations of our thinking and disciplinary demarcation, to creative and experimental readings of visual 'texts'. Representing some of the most innovative thinking (...) in the various arts disciplines, these contributions offer important challenges to existing disciplinary orthodoxies. Also included in this volume is a long interview with Derrida, published here for the first time. (shrink)
Pandey, V. Introduction.--Kalelkar, K. S. Jainism, a familyhood of all religions.--David, M. D. From Risabha to Mahavira.--Chalil, J. E. Glimpses of Southern Jainism.--Gopani, A. S. Life and culture in Jaina narrative literature, 8th, 9th and 10th century A.D.--Gopani, A. S. Position of women in Jaina literature.--Ranka, R. Evolution of Jaina thought.--Pandey, V. Jaina philosophy and religion.--Shah, C. C. Jainism and modern life.--Sankalia, H. D. The great renunciation.--Shah, U. P. Jaina contribution to Indian art.--Gorakshkar, S. Early metal images of the Jainas.--Bhagwati, (...) U. Bibliographical aids for the study of Jainism. (shrink)
Denis Dutton’s The Art Instinct succeeds admirably in showing that it is possible to think about art from a biological point of view, and this is a significant achievement, given that resistance to the idea that cultural phenomena have biological underpinnings remains widespread in many academic disciplines. However, his account of the origins of our artistic impulses and the far-reaching conclusions he draws from that account are not persuasive. This article points out a number of problems: in particular, problems with (...) Dutton’s appeal to sexual selection, with his discussion of the adaptation/by-product distinction and its significance, and with drawing normative conclusions from evolutionary hypotheses. (shrink)
A psychoanalytic psychology and art of unconscious emotion -- An inward turn : Vienna 1900 -- Exploring the truths hidden beneath the surface : origins of a scientific medicine -- Viennese artists, writers, and scientists meet in the Zuckerkandl Salon -- Exploring the brain beneath the skull : origins of a scientific psychiatry -- Exploring mind together with the brain : the development of a brain-based psychology -- Exploring mind apart from the brain : origins of a dynamic psychology -- (...) Searching for inner meaning in literature -- The depiction of modern women's sexuality in art -- The depiction of the psyche in art -- The fusion of eroticism, aggression, and anxiety in art -- A cognitive psychology of visual perception and emotional response to art -- Discovering the beholder's share -- Observation is also invention : the brain as a creativity machine -- The emergence of twentieth-century painting -- A biological science of the beholder's visual response to art -- The brain's processing of visual images -- Deconstruction of the visual image: the building blocks of form perception -- Reconstruction of the world we see : vision is information processing -- High-level vision and the brain's perception of face, hands, and body -- Top-down processing of information : using memory to find meaning -- The deconstruction of emotion : the search for emotional primitives -- The artistic depiction of emotion through the face, hands, body, and color -- Unconscious emotions, conscious feelings, and their bodily expression -- A biological science of the beholder's emotional response to art -- Top-down control of cognitive emotional information -- The biological response to beauty and ugliness in art -- The beholder's share : entering the private theater of another's mind -- The biology of the beholder's share : modeling other people's minds -- How the brain regulates emotion and empathy -- An evolving dialogue between visual art and science -- Artistic universals and the austrian expressionists -- The creative brain -- The cognitive unconscious and the creative brain -- Brain circuits for creativity -- Talent, creativity, and brain development -- Knowing ourselves : the new dialogue between art and science. (shrink)
Animation victims: an abridged history of animated response -- Animated history -- The movement of accessories -- Fabric extensions and textual supplements from modern and antique fragments -- The movement of snakes -- Pneumatic impulses and bygone appendages from Philo to Warburg -- The afterlife of crystals -- Art historical biology and the animation of the inorganic -- Inorganic culture -- Nudes in the forest -- Models, sciences, and legends in a landscape by Léger -- Malicious houses -- Animism (...) and animosity in German architecture and film from Mies to Murnau -- Daphne's legacy -- Architecture, psychoanalysis, and petrification. (shrink)
Fascism, modernism and modernity -- The Jew as anti-artist : Georges Sorel and the aesthetics of the anti- Enlightenment -- La Cité française : Georges Valois, Le Corbusier and fascist theories of urbanism -- Machine primitives : Philippe Lamour and the fascist cult of youth -- Classical violence : Thierry Maulnier and the legacy of the Cercle Proudhon.
In this multi-disciplinary volume, comprising the work of several established scholars from different countries, central concepts associated with the work of the Bakhtin Circle are interrogated in relation to intellectual history, language theory and an understanding of new media. The book will prove an important resource for those interested in the ideas of the Bakhtin Circle, but also for those attempting to develop a coherent theoretical approach to language in use and problems of meaning production in new media.
These essays bring medical discoveries from ancient times to landmarks in modern medicine, and take the reader to twenty-first century biogenetics and molecular biology. This unique volume focuses on medical science as an art of healing, where modern medicine is not just restricted to science and technology.
Theoretical biology and economics are remarkably similar in their reliance on mathematical models, which attempt to represent real world systems using many idealized assumptions. They are also similar in placing a great emphasis on derivational robustness of modeling results. Recently philosophers of biology and economics have argued that robustness analysis can be a method for confirmation of claims about causal mechanisms, despite the significant reliance of these models on patently false assumptions. We argue that the power of robustness (...) analysis has been greatly exaggerated. It is best regarded as a method of discovery rather than confirmation. (shrink)
I first try to identify what problem, if any conceptual art poses for philosophical aesthetics. It is harder than one might think to formulate some claim about traditional art with which much conceptual art is inconsistent. The idea that sense experience plays a special role in the appreciation of traditional artworks falls foul of literature. Instead I focus on the idea that conceptual art exhibits a particularly loose relation between the properties with which we engage in appreciating it and the (...) properties on which those artistic properties depend. In Part II, I then offer an account of how conceptual art communicates, and attempt to use it to illuminate some prominent features of that art. I suggest it works by frustrating certain fundamental expectations with which we approach it. In this it is analogous to certain ways of indirectly communicating in conversation – certain kinds of conversational implicature. At the close, I ask whether this account allows us to address the problem identified in Part I. (shrink)
Europeans seeking to understand tribal arts face obvious problems of comprehending the histories, values, and ideas of vastly remote cultures. In this respect the issues faced in understanding tribal art (or folk art, primitive art, traditional art, third or fourth-world art — none of these designations is ideal) are not much different from those encountered in trying to comprehend the distant art of “our own” culture, for instance, the art of medieval Europe. But in the case of tribal or so-called (...) primitive art, there are special complications. First, objects of tribal art are sometimes so strange to us that we cannot tell immediately whether they are intended to be works of art (or some local analogue of what we would call art) at all.1An African head-rest I once came across had an odd, extravagant extrusion which made the whole piece reminiscent of Arp. It seemed to my baffled, ignorant eyes to be much more than a mere head-rest, but I couldn’t tell what more it was supposed to be. Maybe that extension on the side of the object had some purely utilitarian function, acting as a handle, or perhaps it was a natural part of the original block of wood, left there merely because it looked nice to the eye of the carver. Though the head-rest seemed beautiful, I still don’t know if I was admiring as an essentially expressive object some simple item of practical use, or something that combined expression and utility. (shrink)
Germany's leading contemporary social theorist provides a definitive analysis of art as a social and perceptual system which not only represents an important intellectual step in discussions of art but also an important advance in systems theory. Luhmann insists on the radical incommensurability between psychic systems (perception) and social systems (communication). Art is a special kind of communication that operates at the boundary between the social system and consciousness in ways that profoundly irritate communication while remaining strictly internal to the (...) social. Each chapter elaborates a particular aspect of the general problem of art's status as a social system. The book draws on a vast body of research in the social sciences, phenomenology, evolutionary biology, cybernetics, and information theory, combined with an intimate knowledge of art history, literature, aesthetics, and contemporary literary theory. The book also engages virtually every major theorist of art and aesthetics from Baumgarten to Derrida. (shrink)
At the beginning of this special issue of Acta Biotheoretica carrying the above title, we present a brief overview on currently important topics that have been brought up during the last “European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology” in Edinburgh. After emphasizing the need for a “synthetic biology” also from the side of theory, model building and analysis, we survey most plenary talks of this Conference and a selected series of eigth review articles, which are mainly related to (...) corresponding minisymposia, reflecting the current state of the art and the lively discussion within this interdisciplinary field. (shrink)
Human aesthetic experiences are pervasive; they are triggered by faces, art, natural scenery, foods, ideas, theories, and decision-making situations, among many sources, and seem to be a distinctive trait of our species. Our moral sense, understood as our capacity to judge events, actions, or people as good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate, also seems to be an exclusively human endowment (Ayala 2010). As part of the scientific efforts to characterize the biological foundations of our human uniqueness, recently there has been (...) interest in the brain’s underpinnings of aesthetic reactions to art on the one hand, and in the neural correlates of moral judgment and decision-making on the other (Greene and Paxton .. (shrink)
The long debate -- Aesthetics and ethics : basic concepts -- A conceptual map -- Autonomism -- Artistic and critical practices -- Questions of character -- The cognitive argument : the epistemic claim -- The cognitive argument : the aesthetic claim -- Emotion and imagination -- The merited response argument.
In the present essay the author suggests that the main reason why history failed to develop societies in harmony with Nature, including our internal nature as well, is that we failed to evaluate the exact basis of the factor ultimately governing our thoughts. We failed to realize that it is the worldview that ultimately governs our thoughts and through our thoughts, our actions. In this work we consider the ultimate foundations of philosophy, science, religion, and art, pointing out that they (...) were and can be again in harmony with each other if their ultimate tasks are specified. It is specified here the first task of philosophy as considering the philosophical significance of the ultimate principles of physics, biology and man/society. These ultimate principles are in direct connection with the ultimate questions of religion. It is shown that the fundamental nature of art makes it able to perceive the ultimate destination of mankind and the Universe, the world-to-be. It is proposed that philosophy, religion and art together are able to supply us with an inter-subjective picture of the world-process, including the inter-subjective picture of the future of mankind and the Universe. Care is taken to enlighten the possible role of values in founding scientific research in the frame of present wide-ranging discussions. It is found that universal values of respect for existence, life and reason represent the inevitable basis of science. The exact foundations of a new, integral worldview are outlined, involving the worldprocess-picture, Nature-picture, images of man, society, self, history and manipulation. A list of our common tasks for founding the Integral Culture is proposed. (shrink)
In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...) is bad for us. Accordingly, we may rightly wonder if it rational for people to watch melodramas or to listen to love songs. One might think that we should generally avoid unpleasant works of art. This implication flirts with absurdity. I show how it can be avoided by making a distinction between well-being and worth. (shrink)
Autobiography and phenomenology: Preface for Germans (1934).--Phenomenology and theory of knowledge: Sensation, construction, and intuition (1913). On the concept of sensation (1913). Consciousness, the object, and its three distances (1916).--Phenomenology and esthetics: An essay in esthetics by way of a preface (1914). Esthetics on the streetcar (1916).--An esthetics of historical reason: The idea of theater: an abbreviated view (1946). Reviving the paintings (Velázquez, chapter I) (1946).
An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently 'almost' art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects 'failed-art' objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...) be non-art by having failure where being art requires success. I assume that for something to be art that thing must be the product of intention-directed action. I then offer an account of attempts that captures the success conditions governing the relationship between intention-directed actions and their products. From this, I claim that to be failed-art is to be the product of a failed art-attempt, i.e., to be non-art as the result of the particular way in which that art-attempt failed. An art-attempt I take to be an attempt with success conditions, that, if satisfied, entail the satisfaction of the conditions for being art—whatever those may be. To be art, then, is to be the product of a successful art-attempt. As such, any art theory incompatible with my account of failed-art is an art theory for which the notions of success and failure do not matter, and therefore an art theory for which being art needn't be substantively intention-dependent. So, any theory of art unable to accommodate my account of failed-art is _ipso facto_ false. (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)
Matravers examines how emotions form the bridge between our experience of art and of life. We often find that a particular poem, painting, or piece of music carries an emotional charge; and we may experience emotions toward, or on behalf of, a particular fictional character. Matravers shows that what these experiences have in common, and what links them to the expression of emotion in non-artistic cases, is the role played by feeling. He carries out a critical survey of various accounts (...) of the nature of fiction, attacks contemporary cognitivist accounts of expression, and offers an uncompromising defense of a controversial view about musical expression: that music works by expressing the emotions it causes its listeners to feel. (shrink)
This is a long-awaited reissue of Jerrold Levinson's 1990 book Music, Art, and Metaphysics, which gathers together the writings that made him a leading figure in contemporary aesthetics. Most of the essays are distinguished by a concern with metaphysical questions about artworks and their properties, but other essays address the problem of art's definition, the psychology of aesthetic response, and the logic of interpreting and evaluating works of art. The focus of about half of the essays is the art of (...) music, the art of greatest interest to Levinson throughout his career. Many of the essays have been very influential, being among the most cited in contemporary aesthetics and having become essential references in debates on the definition of art, the ontology of art, emotional response to art, expression in art, and the nature of art forms. (shrink)
Sustaining Loss explores the uncanny, traumatic weaving together of the living and the dead in art, and the morbid fascination it holds for modern philosophical aesthetics. Beginning with Kant, the author traces how aesthetic theory has been drawn back repeatedly to the moving power of the undead body of the work of art. He locates the most potent expressions of this philosophical compulsion in Hegel's thesis that art is a thing of the past, and in Freud's view that the work (...) of art is the haunting of the present by the endless suffering of what is dead but still has claims over the living. Sustaining Loss examines not only Kant, Hegel, and Freud, but also the contemporary artists Gerhard Richter and Ilya Kabakov, whose art turns fruitfully against art's own past. (shrink)
The paper examines the ramifications of naturalism with regard to the question of individuality in economics and biology. Economic theory has to deal with whether households, firms, and states are individuals or are mere entities such as clubs, networks, and coalitions. Biological theory has to deal with the same question with regard to cells, organisms, family packs, and colonies. To wit, the question of individuality in both disciplines involves three separate problems: the metaphysical, phenomenist, and ontological. The metaphysical problem (...) is concerned with purposeful action: Is the firm or organism exclusively the product of efficient causality (optimization) or is it motivated by final causality (purposefulness)? The phenomenist problem is interested in the substantiality of essences: Is the firm''s or organism''s scheme of institutions/traits deep or is it extraneous to identity? The ontological problem is related to the issue of reductionism: Is the behavior of lower-level organization governed by a pre-constituted entities or is it context-sensitive? The paper finds that theoretical differences run along the naturalist/anti-naturalist divide rather than along disciplinary specialization. Also, the paper finds that it is not inconsistent for the same theorist to be naturalist with regard to one problem and anti-naturalist with respect to the other two problems. (shrink)
Kant, Art, and Art History is the first systematic study of Kant's reception of and influence on the visual arts and art history. Arguing against Kant's transcendental approach to aesthetic judgment, Cheetham examines five 'moments' of his influence, including the use of Kant's political writings among German-speaking artists and critics in Rome around 1800; the canonized patterns of Kant's reception in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art history, particularly in the work of Wölfflin and Panofsky; and the Kantian language in (...) the criticism of Cubism. He also reassesses Clement Greenberg's famous reliance on Kant. The final chapter focuses on Kant's 'image', both in contemporary and posthumous portraits, with respect to his status as the image of philosophy within a disciplinary hierarchy. In Cheetham's reading, Kant emerges as a figure who has constantly erected and crossed the borders among art, its history, and philosophy. (shrink)
The fundamental concept of structured chemical system has been introduced and analysed in this paper. This concept, as in biology but not in physics, is very important in chemistry. In fact, the main chemical concepts (molecule and compound) have been identified as systemic concepts and their use in chemical explanation can only be justified in this approach. The fundamental concept of “environment” has been considered and then the system concept in mechanics, chemistry and biology. The differences and the (...) analogies between the use of the systemic approach in these disciplines have been analyzed and correlated to the general problem of reductionism and complexity perspectives. The inanimate–animate dichotomy can be reconsidered in this new approach. Since the chemical systemic concepts of molecule and compound can be dated to the nineteenth century, chemistry can be considered the first true systemic science and its historical evolution can be a model for other sciences (such as the humanities) where the systemic concepts are important. (shrink)
The Demon said to the swordsman, "Fundamentally, man's mind is not without good. It is simply that from the moment he has life, he is always being brought up with perversity. Thus, having no idea that he has gotten used to being soaked in it, he harms his self-nature and falls into evil. Human desire is the root of this perversity." Woven deeply into the martial traditions and folklore of Japan, the fearsome Tengu dwell in the country's mountain forest. Mythical (...) half-man, half-bird creatures with long noses, Tengu have always inspired dread and awe, inhabiting a liminal world between the human and the demonic, and guarding the most hidden secrets of swordsmanship. In The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts, a translation of the 18th-century samurai classic by Issai Chozanshi, an anonymous swordsman journeys to the heart of Mt. Kurama, the traditional domain of these formidable beings. There he encounters a host of demon; through a series of discussions and often playful discourse, they reveal to him the very deepest principles of the martial arts, and show how the secrets of sword fighting impart the truths of life itself. The Demon's Sermon opens with The discourses, a collection of whimsical fables concerned with the theme of transformation-for Chozanshi a core phenomenon to the martial artist. Though ostensibly light and fanciful, these stories offer the attentive reader ideas that subvert perceived notions of conflict and the individual's relationship to the outside world. In the main body of work, The Sermon, Chozanshi demonstrates how transformation is fostered and nurtured through ch'i - the vital and fundamental energy that flows through all things, animate and inanimate, and the very bedrock of Chozanshi's themes and the martial arts themselves. This he does using the voice of the Tengu, and the reader is invited to eavesdrop with the swordsman on the demon's revelations of the deepest truths concerning ch'i, the principles of yin and yang, and how these forces shape our existence. In The Dispatch, the themes are brought to an elegant conclusion using the parable of an old and toothless cat who, like the demon, has mastered the art of acting by relying on nothing, and in so doing can defeat even the wiliest and most vicious of rats despite his advanced years. This is the first direct translation from the original text into English by William Scott Wilson, the renowned translator of Hagakure and The Book of Five Rings. It captures the tone and essence of this classic while still making it accessible and meaningful to today's reader. Chozanshi's deep understanding of Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto, as well as his insight into the central role of ch'i in the universe, are all given thoughtful treatment in Wilson's introduction and extensive endnotes. A provocative book for the general reader, The Demon's Sermon will also prove an invaluable addition to the libraries of all those interested in the fundamental principles of the martial arts, and how those principles relate to our existence. (shrink)
The debate about the levels of selection has been one of the most controversial both in evolutionary biology and in philosophy of science. Okasha’s book makes the sort of contribution that simply will not be able to be ignored by anyone interested in this field for many years to come. However, my interest here is in highlighting some examples of how Okasha goes about discussing his material to suggest that his book is part of an increasingly interesting trend that (...) sees scientists and philosophers coming together to build a broadened concept of “theory” through a combination of standard mathematical treatments and conceptual analyses. Given the often contentious history of the relationship between philosophy and science, such trend cannot but be welcome. (shrink)
Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is a new and rapidly developing field of biology which focuses on questions in the intersection of evolution and development and has been seen by many as a potential synthesis of these two fields. This synthesis is the topic of the books reviewed here. Integrating Evolution and Development (edited by Roger Sansom and Robert Brandon), is a collection of papers on conceptual issues in Evo-Devo, while From Embryology to Evo-Devo (edited by Manfred Laubichler and (...) Jane Maienschein) is a history of the problem of the relations between ontogeny and phylogeny. (shrink)
First, a brief history is provided of Popper's views on the status of evolutionary biology as a science. The views of some prominent biologists are then canvassed on the matter of falsifiability and its relation to evolutionary biology. Following that, I argue that Popper's programme of falsifiability does indeed exclude evolutionary biology from within the circumference of genuine science, that Popper's programme is fundamentally incoherent, and that the correction of this incoherence results in a greatly expanded and (...) much more realistic concept of what is empirical, resulting in the inclusion of evolutionary biology. Finally, this expanded concept of empirical is applied to two particular problems in evolutionary biology — viz., the species problem and the debate over the theory of punctuated equilibria — and it is argued that both of them are still mainly metaphysical. (shrink)
In this short discussion note, I discuss whether any of the generalizations made in biology should be construed as laws. Specifically, I examine a strategy offered by Elliot Sober ( 1997 ) and supported by Mehmet Elgin ( 2006 ) to reformulate certain biological generalizations so as to eliminate their contingency, thereby allowing them to count as laws. I argue that this strategy entails a conception of laws that is unacceptable on two counts: (1) Sober and Elgin’s approach allows (...) the possibility of formulating laws describing any biological phenomenon whatsoever; and (2) on Sober and Elgin’s view, any interesting contrast between so-called laws and obviously accidental generalizations collapses. I conclude by offering suggestions to refine their view in order to avoid these theoretical problems. (shrink)
Modeling in biology and economics Content Type Journal Article Pages 613-615 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9271-5 Authors Michael Weisberg, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, 433, Cohen Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304, USA Samir Okasha, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TB UK Uskali Mäki, Department of Political and Economic Studies / Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867 Journal Volume Volume 26 Journal Issue Volume 26, Number 5.
This paper, which is based on recent empirical research at the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Bristol, presents two difficulties which arise when condensed matter physicists interact with molecular biologists: (1) the former use models which appear to be too coarse-grained, approximate and/or idealized to serve a useful scientific purpose to the latter; and (2) the latter have a rather narrower view of what counts as an experiment, particularly when it comes to computer simulations, (...) than the former. It argues that these findings are related; that computer simulations are considered to be undeserving of experimental status, by molecular biologists, precisely because of the idealizations and approximations that they involve. The complexity of biological systems is a key factor. The paper concludes by critically examining whether the new research programme of ‘systems biology’ offers a genuine alternative to the modelling strategies used by physicists. It argues that it does not. (shrink)
Welfare biology is the study of living things and their environment with respect to their welfare (defined as net happiness, or enjoyment minus suffering). Despite difficulties of ascertaining and measuring welfare and relevancy to normative issues, welfare biology is a positive science. Evolutionary economics and population dynamics are used to help answer basic questions in welfare biology: Which species are affective sentients capable of welfare? Do they enjoy positive or negative welfare? Can their welfare be dramatically increased? (...) Under plausible axioms, all conscious species are plastic and all plastic species are conscious (and, with a stronger axiom, capable of welfare). More complex niches favour the evolution of more rational species. Evolutionary economics also supports the common-sense view that individual sentients failing to survive to mate suffer negative welfare. A kind of God-made (or evolution-created) fairness between species is also unexpectedly found. The contrast between growth maximization (as may be favoured by natural selection), average welfare, and total welfare maximization is discussed. It is shown that welfare could be increased without even sacrificing numbers (at equilibrium). Since the long-term reduction in animal suffering depends on scientific advances, strict restrictions on animal experimentation may be counter-productive to animal welfare. (shrink)
Social scientific and humanistic research on synthetic biology has focused quite narrowly on questions of epistemology and ELSI. I suggest that to understand this discipline in its full scope, researchers must turn to the objects of the field—synthetic biological artifacts—and study them as the objects in the making of a science yet to be made. I consider one fundamentally important question: how should we understand the material products of synthetic biology? Practitioners in the field, employing a consistent technological (...) optic in the study and construction of biological systems, routinely employ the mantra ‘biology is technology’. I explore this categorization. By employing an established definition of technological artifects drawn from the philosophy of technology, I explore the appropriateness of attributing to synthetic biological artifacts the four criteria of materiality, intentional design, functionality, and normativity. I then explore a variety of accounts of natural kinds. I demonstrate that synthetic biological artifacts fit each kind imperfectly, and display a concomitant ontological ‘messiness’. I argue that this classificatory ambivalence is a product of the field’s own nascence, and posit that further work on kinds might help synthetic biology evaluate its existing commitments and practices. (shrink)
Stem cell biology and systems biology are two prominent new approaches to studying cell development. In stem cell biology, the predominant method is experimental manipulation of concrete cells and tissues. Systems biology, in contrast, emphasizes mathematical modeling of cellular systems. For scientists and philosophers interested in development, an important question arises: how should the two approaches relate? This essay proposes an answer, using the model of Waddington’s landscape to triangulate between stem cell and systems approaches. This (...) simple abstract model represents development as an undulating surface of hills and valleys. Originally constructed by C. H. Waddington to visually explicate an integrated theory of genetics, development and evolution, the landscape model can play an updated unificatory role. I examine this model’s structure, representational assumptions, and uses in all three contexts, and argue that explanations of cell development require both mathematical models and concrete experiments. On this view, the two approaches are interdependent, with mathematical models playing a crucial but circumscribed role in explanations of cell development. (shrink)
Gould and Lewontin use San Marco, Venice, to criticise the adaptationist program in biology. Following their lead, the architectural term “spandrel” is now widely used in biology to denote a feature that is a necessary byproduct of other aspects of the organism. I review the debate over San Marco and argue that the spandrels are not necessary in the sense originally used by Gould and Lewontin. I conclude that almost all the claims that Gould makes about San Marco (...) are wrong and that it is reasonable to view the architectural spandrel as an adaptation. The spandrels example has not provided a good illustration of why adaptive explanations should be avoided. In fact, it can be used as an example of how adaptive explanations can be dismissed even when there is evidence in their favour. I also discuss the use of the concept of a spandrel in biology. (shrink)
The main claim in this paper is that because organisms have teleological constitutions, the reduction of biology to physical science is not possible. It is argued that the teleology of organisms is intrinsic and not merely projected onto them. Many organic phenomena are end-oriented and reference to ends is necessary for explaining them. Accounts in terms of functions or goals are appropriate to organic parts and processes. siis is because ends as systemic requirements for survival and health have explanatory (...) significance with respect to the processes that contribute to and constitute them. Reductionism cannot accommodate this sort of higher-level to lower-level explanation and so cannot account for why lower-level phenomena are as they are. Reductionism, it is claimed, is ultimately descriptive and not explanatory because it cannot regard teleological requirements as themselves basic. In seeking to explain them away it forfeits explanatory power. (shrink)