In environmental aesthetics a variety of proposals have been advanced about relevant norms that constrain appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature. Some of these proposals are about cognitive or epistemic norms in that the authors claim that nature ought to be cognized in certain ways or that we ought to form certain beliefs about nature rather than others, and that when we do so, it will significantly constrain our aesthetic appreciation of nature. Another proposal is that moral norms rule out certain (...) forms of aesthetic appreciation of natural objects and promote others. If these proposals are correct, then different kinds of value interact in the realm of environmental aesthetics. Evaluation of these proposals inevitably involves two parts. One first has to ask whether the purported norms exist. If they do, one has to assess their bearing on evaluative aesthetic judgments. Although there are weak epistemic norms of nature appreciation, they lack important implications sometimes associated with them. The situation is even less promising for moral norms: no one has successfully identified a moral norm that constrains aesthetic appreciation of nature. (shrink)
The paradox of fiction presents an inconsistent triad of propositions, all of which are purported to be plausible or difficult to abandon. Here is an instance of the paradox: (1) Sally pities Anna (where Anna is the character Anna Karenina). (2) To pity someone, one must believe that they exist and are suffering. (3) Sally does not believe that Anna exists. Here is the problem. The paradox was formulated during the heyday of the cognitive theory of the emotions when there (...) was a lot of theoretical commitment to (2) or a variant of it. But now virtually no one accepts (2). To solve the paradox, we just have to find a way to reject one of the inconsistent statements. It appears easy to reject (2). So why do even some of those who do reject (2) not leave matters there? I argue that there is still good reason to consider other solutions to the paradox. It is only by doing so that we fully understand the affective states with which we respond to fiction, in particular, the distinctive functional role that they have in this context. (shrink)
In a recent essay, Jerrold Levinson defends his version of hypothetical intentionalism (HI), which is a theory of literary interpretation, from two criticisms. The first, argued by Stephen Davies, is that it is equivalent to the value-maximizing view. The second, argued by Robert Stecker, is that there are straightforward counterexamples to HI. We will argue that Levinson does not successfully fend off either criticism, and further, that in the process of attempting to do so, creates another dilemma for his view.
Can a moral defect be an artistic virtue? Can it make a positive contribution to artistic value? Further, if this can happen on occasion, does this imply that moral value has no systematic connection to artistic value since every conceivable relation between them is possible? The idea that moral defects can sometimes be artistic virtues has received a fair number of defenders recently and so has the anti-theoretical view that there is no systematic relation between artistic and moral value. But (...) I think immoralism—as the first of these views is called—is mistaken and I will try to show that no good reason has been offered to believe it. If immoralism is wrong, the anti-theoretical view at best devolves into moderate moralism—the idea that moral defects sometimes, but not always, are responsible for artistic defects. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Introduces a more sophisticated functional definition of art Deals with some of the problems Beardsley had Old & New Aestheticism Aesthetic Communication notes on the Artworld Artistic value End of art?
What possesses aesthetic value? According to a broad view, it can be found almost anywhere. According to a narrower view, it is found primarily in art and is applied to other items by courtesy of sharing some of the properties that make artworks aesthetically valuable. In this paper I will defend the broad view in answering the question: how should we characterize aesthetic value and other aesthetic concepts? I will also criticize some alternative answers.
l Carroll has recently replied to criticisms of his views about moderate moralism and aesthetic experience. This paper responds to the replies directed at me. Regarding moderate moralism, I suggest that far from being a critic, my proposals should be seen as friendly clarifications of that view. Regarding aesthetic experience, there are sharp differences between us. Here I defuse new criticisms Carroll directs at my conception of such experience, and attempt to demonstrate the implausibility of Carroll's concept-oriented conception.
In many artworks, both aesthetic and ethical values are present, and both can contribute to the overall artistic value of a work. The question explored in this paper is: does the presence of one kind of value affect the degree of the other? For example, does a work that expresses a morally reprehensible attitude diminish the aesthetic value of a work? Let ‘interaction’ name the view that the presence of one kind of value affects the degree of the other. We (...) will argue in favour of the existence of interaction. However, we will argue further that such interaction is a contingent feature of artworks and that the most common argument that has been offered for interaction—the affective -response -argument—fails to identify the main reason why it holds, when it in fact does. (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.
John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding is among the most important books in philosophy ever written. It is a difficult work dealing with many themes, including the origin of ideas; the extent and limits of human knowledge; the philosophy of perception; and religion and morality. This volume focuses on the last two topics and provides a clear and insightful survey of these overlooked aspects of Locke's best-known work. Four eminent Locke scholars present authoritative discussions of Locke's view on the ethics (...) of belief, personal identity, free will and moral theory. (shrink)
In this paper we defend a direct reference theory of names. We maintain that the meaning of a name is its bearer. In the case of vacuous names, there is no bearer and they have no meaning. We develop a unified theory of names such that one theory applies to names whether they occur within or outside fiction. Hence, we apply our theory to sentences containing names within fiction, sentences about fiction or sentences making comparisons across fictions. We then defend (...) our theory against objections and compare our view to the views of Currie, Walton, and others. (shrink)