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Stephen Davies [105]Stephen J. Davies [1]
  1. Stephen Davies, Balinese Legong: Revival or Decline?
    In my understanding of the current status of the legong dance in Bali, despite dedicated local attempts to revitalize the genre, it is in decline. The debilitation of local Balinese arts is influenced by global and national socioeconomic trends, and, while the centralization of dance education in institutes may guarantee the preservation of representative dances and styles, it simultaneously alienates the dance from the grassroots public that formerly was the source of its strength and appreciation. Such changes undermine the standard (...)
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  2. Stephen Davies, I. Is Art Purely Cultural or Does It Centrally Involve a Biological Component?
    Dissanayake is an ethologist. She is interested in human behavioral predispositions that are universal and innate because they have proved to enhance survival, which is defined as reproductive success (1995:36, 2000:21), and, hence, became selected for at the genetic level. Such behaviors must date back at least to the late Pleistocene (20,000 years ago) since it is then that human biological evolution reached its present condition. Subsequent changes involved cultural evolution, a predisposition that is itself based on evolutionary characteristics of (...)
     
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  3. Stephen Davies, The Origins of Balinese Legong.
    The Genre Legong is a secular (balih-balihan) Balinese dance genre (Anon. 1971).[1] Though originally associated with the palace,[2] legong has long been performed in villages, especially at temple ceremonies, as well as at Balinese festivals of the arts. Since the 1920s, abridged versions of legong dances have featured in concerts organized for tourists and in overseas tours by Balinese orchestras. Indeed, the dance has become culturally emblematic, and its image is used to advertise Bali to the world. Traditionally, the dancers (...)
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  4. Stephen Davies, The Role of Westerners in the Conservation of the Legong Dance.
    The image of legong—sumptuously costumed girl dancers crowned with frangipanis—is the face of Balinese culture. Yet it is only one of twenty dance/drama genres and prominent in only some centers. Legong, a secular court dance, has often been (and still is) in danger of extinction. Balinese are now less interested in legong than ever before and musicians prefer to play other kinds of music.
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  5. Stephen Davies, Trying to Define Art as the Sum of the Arts.
    defining art conjunctively, that is, by defining the individual arts and joining these definitions in an exhaustive list. I suggest that the individual art forms are no easier to define than is the general category of art. As well, not everything falling within a given art form counts as art, not every instance of art in the given medium falls within the art form, and some artworks do not belong to an art form at all, so conjoining definitions of the (...)
     
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  6. Stephen Davies, What Constitutes Artistic Expression?
    In its narrative, dramatic, and representational genres, art regularly depicts contexts for human emotions and their expressions. It is not surprising, then, that these artforms are often about emotional experiences and displays, and that they are also concerned with the expression of emotion. What is more interesting is that abstract art genres may also include examples that are highly expressive of human emotion. Pure music – that is, stand-alone music played on musical instruments excluding the human voice, and without words, (...)
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  7. Stephen Davies (forthcoming). Functional and Procedural Definitions of Art. Journal of Aesthetic Education.
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  8. Stephen Davies (forthcoming). I Have Finished Today Another New Concerto.. Journal of Aesthetic Education.
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  9. Stephen Davies (forthcoming). Representation in Music. Journal of Aesthetic Education.
     
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  10. Stephen Davies (2014). Art and Aesthetic Behaviors as Possible Expressions of Our Biologically Evolved Human Nature. Philosophy Compass 9 (6):361-367.
    In this paper, I review arguments that have been offered in favor of the view that humans' art and/or aesthetic behaviors are (in part) a product of our biologically evolved human nature, either as adaptations in their own right or as incidental byproducts of adaptations with non-art and non-aesthetic functions. I present an overview of the main positions and options, critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and outline their presuppositions.
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  11. Stephen Davies (2014). Lopes, Dominic Mciver. Beyond Art. Oxford University Press, 2014, Iii + 249 Pp., $35.00 Cloth. [REVIEW] Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3):329-332.
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  12. Stephen Davies (2013). Artists' Intentions and Artwork Meanings: Some Complications. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (2):138 - 139.
    Artists' intentions are among the primary data retrieved by art appreciators. However, artistic creation is not always deliberate; artists sometimes fail in their intentions; artists' achievements depend on artworld roles, not only intentions; factors external to the artist contribute to artwork meaning; artworks stand apart from their creators; and interpretation need not be exclusively concerned with recovering intended meaning.
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  13. Stephen Davies (2013). Music-to-Listener Emotional Contagion. In Tom Cochrane, Bernardino Fantini & Klaus R. Scherer (eds.), The Emotional Power of Music: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Musical Arousal, Expression, and Social Control. Oup Oxford. 169.
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  14. Stephen Davies (2013). The Evolutionary Value of an Aesthetic Sense. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 6 (2):75-79.
    The aesthetic sense we inherited from our successful ancestors drew them toward conditions that made for survival and reproductive success and repelled them away from conditions that impacted negatively on longevity and fertility. But for them, as for us, those desirable outcomes were incidental and uncalculated. Their search was for the beautiful and sublime. Aesthetic behaviours are apparent in our forerunner species about 400,000 years ago. They sometimes made symmetrical hand axes that were then not used. We can take an (...)
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  15. Stephen Davies (2012). Authentic Performances on Musical Works. Teorema: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 31 (3):81-88.
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  16. Stephen Davies (2012). On Defining Music. The Monist 95 (4):535-555.
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  17. Stephen Davies (2012). The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution. Oup Oxford.
    Stephen Davies presents a fascinating exploration of the idea that art, and our aesthetic sensibilities more generally, should be understood as an element in human evolution. He asks: Do animals have aesthetics? Do our aesthetic preferences have prehistoric roots? Is art universal? What is the biological role of aesthetic and artistic behaviour?
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  18. Stephen Davies (2011). Emotions Expressed and Aroused by Music: Philosophical Perspectives. In Patrik N. Juslin & John Sloboda (eds.), Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research, Applications. Oup Oxford.
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  19. Stephen Davies (2011). Expressiveness: Theory and the Empirical Programme. In Elisabeth Schellekens & Peter Goldie (eds.), The Aesthetic Mind: Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press. 376.
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  20. Stephen Davies (2011). Infectious Music: Music-Listener Emotional Contagion. In Amy Coplan & Peter Goldie (eds.), Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
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  21. Stephen Davies (2011). Musical Understandings. New York;Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter, I discuss the kinds of understanding expected of and evinced by skilled listeners, performers, analysts, and composers. I confine the discussion to Western, purely instrumental music, mainly with the classical tradition in mind.[1] And I refer primarily to the Anglophone literature of "analytic" philosophy of music. As will become apparent, my concern is with an analysis that maps what are meant to be familiar aspects of musical experience. I investigate the various understandings expected of an accomplished listener, (...)
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  22. Stephen Davies (2010). Functional Beauty Examined. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):315-332.
    In Functional Beauty, Glenn Parsons and Allen Carlson defend the importance of Functional Beauty—that is, the view that an item's fitness (or otherwise) for its proper function is a source of positive (or negative) aesthetic value—within a unified comprehensive aesthetic theory that encompasses art, the everyday, animals and organic nature, natural environments and inorganic nature, and artifacts. In the following section, I outline the main lines of argument presented in the book. I then criticize some of these arguments. I do (...)
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  23. Stephen Davies (2010). Perceiving Melodies and Perceiving Musical Colors. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):19-39.
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  24. Stephen Davies (2010). The Hypothetical Intentionalist's Dilemma: A Reply to Levinson. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (3):307-312.
    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. (...)
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  25. Stephen Davies (2009). Aesthetics and Music • by Andy Hamilton. Analysis 69 (2):397-398.
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  26. Stephen Davies (ed.) (2009). A Companion to Aesthetics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Written by prominent scholars covering a wide-range of key topics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art Features revised and expanded entries from the first ...
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  27. Stephen Davies (2009). Life is a Passacaglia. Philosophy and Literature 33 (2):315-328.
    Arthur C. Danto taught that an artwork’s identity and content depend on "an atmosphere of theory the eye cannot de[s]cry" (1964:580). By "theory", he did not mean the ideas developed by philosophers of art. His point was that an artwork can be properly recognized and appreciated only when seen in relation to the heritage of works, writings, practices, genres, and conventions that form the ground on which it stands out as subject. In brief, the work must be seen against the (...)
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  28. Stephen Davies (2009). Responding Emotionally to Fictions. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (3):269 - 284.
    It is widely held that there is a paradox in the fact that we respond emotionally to characters, situations, or events that we know to be fictional, or in other words, when they do not exist. To take a familiar example.
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  29. Stephen Davies (2009). Review of Malcolm Budd, Aesthetic Essays. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (8).
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  30. Stephen Davies (2008). Cosi's Canon Quartet. In Garry Hagberg (ed.), Art and Ethical Criticism. Blackwell Pub.. 243--258.
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  31. Stephen Davies (2008). Introduction to a Philosophy of Music. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):222–224.
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  32. Stephen Davies (2008). Musical Works and Orchestral Colour. British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (4):363-375.
    known as timbral sonicism, accepts that a musical work's orchestral colour is a factor in its identity, but denies that the use of the specified instruments is required for an authentic rendition of the work provided that sounds as of those instruments are achieved. This position has been defended by Julian Dodd. In arguing against his view, I appeal to empirical work showing that composers, musicians, and listeners typically hear through music to the actions that go into its production. In (...)
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  33. Stephen Davies (2007). And Literary Translations. In Kathleen Stock (ed.), Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work. Oxford University Press. 79.
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  34. Stephen Davies (2007). Balinese Aesthetics. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (1):21–29.
    According to the Balinese expert, Dr. Anak Agung Mad ´e Djelantik, “no writings about aesthetics specifically as a discipline exist in Bali.”1 The arts are discussed in ancient palm leaf texts, but mainly in connection with religion, spirituality, ceremony, and the like. However, there are famous accounts by expatriate Westerners and anthropologists.2 There have also been collaborations between Balinese and Western scholars.3 In addition, there is a significant literature written in Indonesian by Balinese experts, beginning in the 1970s.4 Considerable experience (...)
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  35. Stephen Davies (2007). La vita a ritmo di Passacaglia. Rivista di Estetica 47 (35):129-146.
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  36. Stephen Davies (2007). Musical Ontology. Sounds, Instruments and Works of Music / Julian Dodd ; Doing Justice to Musical Works / Michael Morris ; Versions of Musical Works and Literary Translations. In Kathleen Stock (ed.), Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work. Oxford University Press.
  37. Stephen Davies (2007/2010). Philosophical Perspectives on Art. New York;Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical Perspectives on Art presents a series of essays devoted to two of the most fundamental topics in the philosophy of art: the distinctive character of artworks and what is involved in understanding them as art. In Part I, Stephen Davies considers a wide range of questions about the nature and definition of art. Can art be defined, and if so, which definitions are the most plausible? Do we make and consume art because there are evolutionary advantages to doing so? (...)
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  38. Stephen Davies (2007). Versions of Musical Works and Literary Translations. In Kathleen Stock (ed.), Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work. Oxford University Press.
    A less often remarked fact is that a work’s composition can overshoot its completion. It is the description apt for these cases that is the topic of this chapter. But before I get to that, it is useful to describe some of the signs that show a work to be finished.
     
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  39. Stephen Davies (2006). Artistic Expression and the Hard Case of Pure Music. In Matthew Kieran (ed.), Contemporary debates in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Blackwell Publishing.
    In its narrative, dramatic, and representational genres, art regularly depicts contexts for human emotions and their expressions. It is not surprising, then, that these artforms are often about emotional experiences and displays, and that they are also concerned with the expression of emotion. What is more interesting is that abstract art genres may also include examples that are highly expressive of human emotion. Pure music – that is, stand-alone music played on musical instruments excluding the human voice, and without words, (...)
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  40. Stephen Davies (2006). Authors' Intentions, Literary Interpretation, and Literary Value. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (3):223-247.
    I discuss three theories regarding the interpretation of fictional literature: actual intentionalism (author's intentions constrain how their works are to be interpreted), hypothetical intentionalism (interpretations are justified as those most likely intended by a postulated author), and the value-maximizing theory (interpretations presenting the work in the most favourable light are to be preferred). I claim that actual intentionalism cannot account for the appropriateness or legitimacy of some interpretations, or alternatively that it must be weakened to the point that the considerations (...)
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  41. Stephen Davies (2006). Performance Interpretations of Musical Works. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 18 (33-34).
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  42. Stephen Davies (2006). The Philosophy of Art. Blackwell Pub..
    Written with clarity, wit, and rigor, The Philosophy of Art provides an incisive account of the core topics in the field. The first volume in the new Foundations of the Philosophy of the Arts series, designed to provide crisp introductions to the fundamental general questions about art, as well as to questions about the several arts (such as literature, music or painting). Presents a clear and insightful introduction to central topics and on-going debates in the philosophy of art. Eight sections (...)
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  43. Stephen Davies (2006). Aesthetic Judgements, Artworks and Functional Beauty. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):224-241.
    I offer an analysis of the role played by consideration of an item's functions when it is judged aesthetically. The account applies also to artworks, of which some serve extrinsic functions (such as the glorification of God and the communication of religious lore) and others have the function of being contemplated for their own sake alone. Along the way, I deny that aesthetic judgements fit the model of judgements either of free beauty or of dependent beauty, given how these two (...)
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  44. Stephen Davies (2005). Beardsley and the Autonomy of the Work of Art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (2):179–183.
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  45. Stephen Davies (2005). Music. In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. Oup Oxford.
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  46. Stephen J. Davies (2005). Ellen Dissanayake's Evolutionary Aesthetic. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):291-304.
    Dissanayake argues that art behaviors – which she characterizes first as patterns or syndromes of creation and response and later as rhythms and modes of mutuality – are universal, innate, old, and a source of intrinsic pleasure, these being hallmarks of biological adaptation. Art behaviors proved to enhance survival by reinforcing cooperation, interdependence, and community, and, hence, became selected for at the genetic level. Indeed, she claims that art is essential to the fullest realization of our human nature. I make (...)
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  47. Stephen Davies (2004). Once Again, This Time with Feeling. Journal of Aesthetic Education 38 (2):1-6.
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  48. Stephen Davies (2004). The Cluster Theory of Art. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):297-300.
    Berys Gaut has recently defended a cluster account of art. He proposes it as superior to other anti-essentialist positions. I argue that his defence of this claim is unconvincing. Not only is the cluster theory consistent with the current crop of disjunctive definitions, it is at its most plausible when seen in such terms.
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  49. Stephen Davies (2004). The Know-How of Musical Performance. Philosophy of Music Education Review 12 (2):154-159.
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  50. Stephen Davies, Robert Hopkins, Jenefer Robinson & Elisabeth Schellekens (2004). Aesthetics and Subjectivity: From Kant to Nietzsche. British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (3):304-307.
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