This article contains a survey of recent debates in the philosophy of photography, focusing on aesthetic and epistemic issues in particular. Starting from widespread notions about automatism, causality and realism in the theory of photography, the authors ask whether the prima facie tension between the epistemic and aesthetic embodied in oppositions such as automaticism and agency, causality and intentionality, realism and fictional competence is more than apparent. In this context, the article discusses recent work by Roger Scruton, Dominic Lopes, Kendall (...) Walton, Gregory Currie, Jonathan Cohen and Aaron Meskin, Noël Carroll, and Patrick Maynard in some detail. Specific topics addressed include: aesthetic scepticism, transparency, imagination, perception, information, representation and depiction. (shrink)
cannot grasp what is at stake in it without taking both its claims and its tone seriously. Read philosophically, Danto wants to reconceive art’s aesthetic dimension as those features that ‘inflect’ our attitude towards a work’s meaning, and to distinguish, in so doing, between beauty that is and beauty that is not internal to that meaning. Although welcome, I argue that his attempt to carry this through is compromised by his countervailing tendency to conceive the aesthetic in non-cognitive terms. Read (...) as a work of philosophical confession, on the other hand, I suggest that Danto’s late turn to aesthetics may be illuminated through a comparison with Philip Guston’s late turn to figuration. To do so, I draw parallels between Guston’s development as a painter and Danto’s philosophical trajectory. Danto concludes that, though necessary to life, beauty is not necessary to art; I conclude that, on this account, only an aesthetic art makes a warranted claim on our attention. (shrink)
Citizen event reporting (CER) attempts to leverage the eyes and ears of a large population of citizen sensors to increase the amount of information available to decision makers. When deployed in an environment that includes hostile elements, foes can exploit the system to exert indirect control over the response infrastructure. We use an agent-based model to relate the utility of responses to population composition, citizen behavior, and decision strategy, and measure the result in terms of a force multiplier. We show (...) that CER can lead to positive force multipliers even with a majority of hostile elements in the population. When reporter identity is known, a reputation system that keeps track of trustworthy reporters can further increase the force multipliers. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine Plato’s Euthyphro phenomenologically, reading the dialogue as manifesting the posture and activity of gratitude as an essential moment of piety. This phenomenon of gratitude appears directly through Euthyphro’s own remarks and indirectly through Socrates’s interaction with Euthyphro. Other recent commentators, notably Mark McPherran, David Parry, James Brouwer, and William Mann, have noted the importance of the Euthyphro as a dialogue that offers a great deal to the discussion of piety through the shape of the relationship (...) between Socrates and Euthyphro. In building my argument, I follow Parry’s examination of the notion of therapeia or care in order to mark out my own emphasis on charis or gratitude. And I note that, when gratitude is taken as an important phenomenon in the dialogue, what also appears to the reader is the pious possibility of authentic gift-giving and mutual recognition, something Brouwer, Mann, and McPherran have also noted indirectly. Finally, in addition to its synthesis of previous scholarship around a new theme, this paper applies to the dialogue the arguments of Melanie Klein’s “Envy and Gratitude,” Martin Heidegger’s lectures entitled What Is Called Thinking, and Jacques Derrida’s Given Time. (shrink)
From the 1970s to the early-1990s, the discourse surrounding aesthetics largely disappeared from the study of art history, theory and cultural studies. Claims for the aesthetic value of art-works were thought of as elitist and politically regressive. The 1990s witnessed a return to aesthetics, but one that stressed the independent claims of beauty, in reaction to its perceived suppression by ethical and political imperatives. However, beauty is just one aspect of the aesthetic. In recent years, increasing attention has been given (...) to the ways in which aesthetics and ethics are intertwined. In a series of paired essays and responses, a group of the English-speaking world's most distinguished thinkers consider this 'new' aesthetics, demonstrating its cross-disciplinary relevance in terms accessible to a non-specialist readership. (shrink)
The last few decades have witnessed an explosion in ideas and theories on art. Art itself has never been more popular, but much recent thinking remains inaccessible and difficult to use. This book assesses the work of leading thinkers (including artists) who are having a major impact on making, criticizing and interpreting art. Each entry, written by a leading international expert, presents a concise, critical appraisal of a thinker and their contribution to thought about art and its place in the (...) wider cultural context. A guide to the key thinkers who shape today's world of art, this book is a vital reference for anyone interested in modern and contemporary art, its history, theory, philosophy and practice. (shrink)
Journalists covering the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech aggravated the trauma felt by victims' families and survivors, raising ethical questions about the role of media at major news events in an Internet-enabled era of continuous coverage. Some journalists breached professional norms by knocking on doors at 6 a.m., claiming a hidden camera was a breast pump and bullying reluctant interviewees. Even conscientious journalists, however, exacerbated the ordeal through their overabundance. By forcing survivors to endure repetitious interviews and making mourners (...) feel they were being stalked, journalists demonstrated they must embrace press pools to minimize harm in the future. (shrink)
Virginia Held's Feminist Morality defends the idea that it is possible to transform the "public" sphere by remaking it on the model of existing "private" relationships such as families. This paper challenges Held's optimism. It is argued that feminist moral inquiry can aid in transforming the public sphere only by showing just how much the allegedly "private" realms of families and personal relationships are shaped-and often misshapen-by public demands and concerns.
I articulate what I refer to as Jefferson’s “land ethic,” drawing primarily from his Notes on the State of Virginia. In the first section, I discuss Jefferson’s conception of the intimate relationship between the natural and political constitution of America and his vindication of both. In the second section, I examine the centrality of the environment in Jefferson’s political vision for America: a landbasedrepublicanism. In the third section, I elaborate Jefferson’s view as to the proper relationship between human beings (...) and their environment by focusing on the form of nature to which he believes human beings most intimately relate: one’s estate. Jefferson’s understanding of the land draws from John Locke’s theory of property, but whereas Locke’s concept of property is closely associated with the economic values that facilitate human destruction of the environment, Jefferson’s environmentalism focuses on the other side of the relation: the ways in which a particular nature—a climate, one’s landholding, the New World in general–can influence human nature and politics. (shrink)
Care ethicists have long insisted that Kantian moral theory fails to capture the partiality that ought to be present in our personal relationships. In her most recent book, Virginia Held claims that, unlike impartial moral theories, care ethics guides us in how we should act toward friends and family. Because these actions are performed out of care, they have moral value for a care ethicist. The same actions, Held claims, would not have moral worth for a Kantian because of (...) the requirement of impartiality. Although Kantian moral theory is an impartial theory, I argue that the categorical imperative in the Formulation of Humanity as an End and the duty of respect require that we give special treatment to friends and family because of their relationships with us. Therefore, this treatment does have moral value for a Kantian. (shrink)
B. H. Slater has argued that there cannot be any truly paraconsistent logics, because it's always more plausible to suppose whatever negation symbol is used in the language is not a real negation, than to accept the paraconsistent reading. In this paper I neither endorse nor dispute Slater's argument concerning negation; instead, my aim is to show that as an argument against paraconsistency, it misses (some of) the target. A important class of paraconsistent logics — the preservationist logics — are (...) not subject to this objection. In addition I show that if we identify logics by means of consequence relations, at least one dialetheic logic can be reinterpreted in preservationist (non-dialetheic) terms. Thus the interest of paraconsistent consequence relations — even those that emerge from dialetheic approaches — does not depend on the tenability of dialetheism. Of course, if dialetheism is defensible, then paraconsistent logic will be required to cope with it. But the existence (and interest) of paraconsistent logics does not depend on a defense of dialetheism. (shrink)
This paper discusses a number of themes and arguments in The Quest for Reality: Stroud's distinction between philosophical and ordinary questions about reality; the similarity he finds between the view that coloris unreal and the view that it is subjective; his argument against thesecondary quality theory; his argument against the error theory; and the disappointing conclusion of the book.
: This essay suggests that to understand the pacifist position Woolf takes in her critique of fascism and patriarchy, it is essential to recognize how, not only why, she explores the relationship between narrative and political authority. Creating an intersection between a feminist conceptualization of Woolf's narrative technique and philosophical notions about ethical forms of representation, it argues that Woolf fragments the locus of narrative authority in Three Guineas to model a stylistic resistance to linguistic practices she thinks support totalitarian (...) ideology. (shrink)