In Only a Promise of Happiness Alexander Nehamas holds that beauty is the object of love. I raise three objections to this claim when formulated in terms of personal love: love is too narrow in scope to be the attitude whose formal object is beauty; one can experience a person's beauty but have no love for her; and love is of particulars, not of attributes, however specific, such as beauty. A second kind of love, hedonic love, is too broad in (...) scope to be the attitude whose formal object is beauty. I also argue, contra Nehamas, that inner beauty exists. (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.
This paper replies to objections from Thomas Adajian, Stephen Davies, and Robert Stecker to my claim, defended in ‘"Art" as a Cluster Concept’, that ‘art’ is a cluster concept and so cannot be defined. The paper also clarifies and extends the arguments of the earlier paper and locates its position in relation to the work of Morris Weitz.
Although creativity, from Plato onwards, has been recognized as a topic in philosophy, it has been overshadowed by investigations of the meanings and values of works of art. In this new collection of essays a distinguished roster of philosophers of art redress this trend. The subjects discussed include the nature of creativity and the process of artistic creation; the role that creative making should play in our understanding and evaluation of art; relations between concepts of creation and creativity; and ideas (...) of tradition, metaphor, genius, imagination and genre. This is an important collection that will be eagerly sought by philosophers of art as well as theorists in art history, cinema studies and literary criticism. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics is an indispensable guide and reference source to the major thinkers and topics in aesthetics. Forty-six new entries by a team of renowned international contributors provide clear and up-to-date entries under four headings: historical, from Plato to Derrida; aesthetic theory, from definitions of art to pictorial representation; issues and challenges, from criticism to feminist aesthetics; and the individual arts, from literature to theatre.
The ethics of humor is deeply puzzling. Radically opposed views about when it is morally permissible to find something funny are easy to motivate and render plausible. On the one side of the debate about ethics and humor stands the moralist, who believes that our sense of humor is fully answerable to ethical considerations. The fact that a joke rests on ethically bad stereotypes or expresses a derogatory attitude shows that it isn't funny. Sexist or racist jokes that previous generations (...) found hilarious are now correctly regarded as positively offensive and in no way funny. Joseph Boskin reminds us of the offensiveness of the "Sambo" stereotype on which many racial jokes have rested, and argues that it was "subscribed to by whites in their attempt to preserve a social distance between themselves and blacks, to maintain a sense of racial superiority, and to prolong the class structure." Humor has often been used as an instrument of oppression, as a way of expressing contempt towards those outside the privileged group, a way of keeping outsiders in their place. For the moralist, given the importance of humor in the way we relate to others, we must hold humor to be fully answerable to ethical considerations. Humor is subject to the demands of justice. (shrink)
These thirteen new, specially written essays by a distinguished international line-up of contributors, including some leading contemporary moral philosophers, give a rich and varied view of current work on ethics and practical reason. The three main perspectives on the topic, Kantian, Humean, and Aristotelian, are all well represented. Issues covered include: the connection between reason and motivation; the source of moral reasons and their relation to reasons of self-interest; the relation of practical reason to value, to freedom, to responsibility, and (...) to feelings. The editors' introduction provides a valuable introductory survey of the topic, putting the individual essays in context. Ethics and Practical Reason will be essential reading for scholars, postgraduates, and upper-level undergraduates working in this area. (shrink)