Phylloxera, ‘big science’ and the nature of scientific debate Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9668-z Authors Cain Todd, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, County South, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YL UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
ABSTRACT: Amongst inanimate objects, it is generally accepted that at least some art forms, such as music and painting, are capable of being genuinely expressive of emotion, even though it is difficult to understand exactly how. In contrast, although expressive properties can be attributed to non-artworks, such as natural objects or wine, it has often been claimed that such objects cannot be genuinely expressive. Focussing on wine, I argue that once we understand properly the nature of expressiveness, if we allow (...) that music can be expressive there is no good reason to withold the ability to be genuinely expressive from wine. (shrink)
This paper argues that there is no genuine puzzle of ‘imaginative resistance’. In part 1 of the paper I argue that the imaginability of fictional propositions is relative to a range of different factors including the ‘thickness’ of certain concepts, and certain pre-theoretical and theoretical commitments. I suggest that those holding realist moral commitments may be more susceptible to resistance and inability than those holding non-realist commitments, and that it is such realist commitments that ultimately motivate the problem. However, I (...) argue that the relativity of imaginability is not a particularly puzzling feature of imagination. In part 2, I claim that it is the so-called ‘alethic’ puzzle, concerning fictional truth, which generates a real puzzle about imaginative resistance. However, I argue that the alethic puzzle itself depends on certain realist assumptions about the nature of fictional truth which are implausible and should be rejected in favour of an interpretive view of fictional truth. Once this is done, I contend, it becomes evident that the supposed problem of imaginative resistance as it has hitherto been discussed in the literature is not puzzling at all. (shrink)
In this article I examine the status of putative aesthetic judgements in science and mathematics. I argue that if the judgements at issue are taken to be genuinely aesthetic they can be divided into two types, positing either a disjunction or connection between aesthetic and epistemic criteria in theory/proof assessment. I show that both types of claim face serious difficulties in explaining the purported role of aesthetic judgements in these areas. I claim that the best current explanation of this role, (...) McAllister's 'aesthetic induction' model, fails to demonstrate that the judgements at issue are genuinely aesthetic. I argue that, in light of these considerations, there are strong reasons for suspecting that many, and perhaps all, of the supposedly aesthetic claims are not genuinely aesthetic but are in fact 'masked' epistemic assessments. (shrink)
This paper addresses two recent debates in aesthetics: the ‘moralist debate’, concerning the relationship between the ethical and aesthetic evaluations of artworks, and the ‘cognitivist debate’, concerning the relationship between the cognitive and aesthetic evaluations of artworks. Although the two debates appear to concern quite different issues, I argue that the various positions in each are marked by the same types of confusions and ambiguities. In particular, they demonstrate a persistent and unjustified conflation of aesthetic and artistic value, which in (...) turn is based on a more general failure to explicitly tackle the demarcation of aesthetic value. As such, the claims of each side are rendered ambiguous in respect of the relation that is supposed to hold between all these types of value and artistic value. These issues are discussed in light of a recent argument proposed by Matthew Kieran, to undermine, to some extent, the conceptual distinction between aesthetic, cognitive-ethical, and artistic values in our appraisal of art works. In rejecting his argument, I defend the conceptual distinction and a pluralistic conception of artistic value that allows for cognitive and ethical values to count as artistic, but not aesthetic, values. (shrink)
My primary aim in this paper is to outline a quasi-realist theory of aesthetic judgement. Robert Hopkins has recently argued against the plausibility of this project because he claims that quasi-realism cannot explain a central component of any expressivist understanding of aesthetic judgements, namely their supposed ‘autonomy’. I argue against Hopkins’s claims by contending that Roger Scruton’s aesthetic attitude theory, centred on his account of the imagination, provides us with the means to develop a plausible quasi-realist account of aesthetic judgement. (...) Finally, I respond to two recent attempts to discredit the validity of the notion of aesthetic autonomy. I claim that both fail adequately to address the underlying non-realist motivations and justifications for maintaining the principle. (shrink)