This article reviews the various ways in which the later writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein have been employed to address the question “What is Art?”. These include the family resemblance model, the cluster concept model and the form of life model. The article defends a version of the form of life approach. Also, addressed the charge that it would have been more profitable had aestheticians explored what Wittgenstein actually said about art instead of trying to extrapolate from his writings an approach (...) to what Nigel Warburton calls the art question. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
While narrative has been one of the liveliest and most productive areas of research in literary theory, discussions of the nature of emotional responses to art and of the cognitive value of art tend to concentrate almost exclusively on the problem of fiction: How can we emote over or learn from fictions? Narrative, Emotion, and Insight explores what would happen if aestheticians framed the matter differently, having narratives—rather than fictional characters and events—as the object of emotional and cognitive attention. The (...) book thus opens up new possibilities for approaching questions about the ethical, educative, and cultural value of art. The nine essays in this volume introduce the study of narrative to contemporary aesthetics. (shrink)
While narrative has been one of liveliest and most productive areas of research in literary theory, discussions of the nature of emotional responses to art and of the cognitive value of art tend to concentrate almost exclusively on the problem of fiction: How can we emote over or learn from fictions? Narrative, Emotion, and Insight explores what would happen if aestheticians framed the matter differently, having narratives—rather than fictional characters and events—as the object of emotional and cognitive attention. The book (...) thus opens up new possibilities for approaching questions about the ethical, educative, and cultural value of art. The nine essays in this volume introduce the study of narrative to contemporary aesthetics. (shrink)
Art, Emotion, and Ethics is a brilliant book with many important, useful, insightful, and even profound things to say about a range of topics including the relation of the imagination to art, understanding, and ethics, and the paradox of fiction, as well as sensitive and in-depth interpretations of masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt and Nabokov. It is very convincing in its jousts with autonomists for people like me who favor the view that sometimes ethical blemishes are aesthetic blemishes and (...) sometimes ethical merits count as aesthetic merits. But that is because I am not an autonomist or even a moderate autonomist. (shrink)
Abstract: This article charts the rise and fall of the Modern System of the Arts and the failure of the aesthetic theory of art to define membership in the so-called system, which, instead, I argue, is and has been, for a long time, merely a historically evolved collection. Rather than endorsing the continued attempt to define Art with a capital A in terms of aesthetic experience, I recommend alternative lines of research for contemporary philosophers of the arts.
Philosophy of Motion Pictures is a first-of-its-kind, bottom-up introduction to this bourgeoning field of study. Topics include film as art, medium specificity, defining motion pictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation. Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples Explores characterizations of key elements of motion pictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address.
In this article, “Narrative Closure,” a theory of the nature of narrative closure is developed. Narrative closure is identified as the phenomenological feeling of finality that is generated when all the questions saliently posed by the narrative are answered. The article also includes a discussion of the intelligibility of attributing questions to narratives as well as a discussion of the mechanisms that achieve this. The article concludes by addressing certain recent criticisms of the view of narrative expounded by this article.
Both my deflationary approach to aesthetic experience and what I call moderate moralism have been challenged recently in the pages of the British Journal of Aesthetics by Paisley Livingston, Robert Stecker, and George Dickie. In this essay, I attempt to deal with their objections while also trying to move the debate to new ground.
James Shelley has raised the important question of whether it is possible to have aesthetic experiences of imperceptible artworks. This issue is important for determining whether or not the aesthetic theory of art can deal with certain cases of conceptual art. Shelley has argued that it is possible to have aesthetic experiences of imperceptibilia. And in this article, I concur with him, though for reasons different from his. Nevertheless, I go on to argue that this still fails to vindicate the (...) aesthetic theory of art. (shrink)
In this article I divide theories of aesthetic experience into three sorts: the affectoriented approach, the axiologically oriented approach, and the content-oriented approach. I then go on to defend a version of the content-oriented approach.
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.