This thesis explores the relationship between philosophy and the gothic affect by examining the ways in which each handles conceptions of truth, identity, and visibility. While philosophy's idea of truth has traditionally been conceptualized through the metaphorics of light and its power of disclosure, this thesis argues that a distinctly gothic conception of truth emerges with the arrival of Kant's philosophy. Kant relies on a method and notion of truth which is not predicated on light but shadow and the constitutive (...) function of illusion in knowledge. The thesis aims to demonstrate the shadowy and apparitional nature of the Kantian transcendental imagination and how the fully speculative consequences of this move are developed in Hegel's philosophy. Whereas philosophy traditionally sought to exorcize shadow and illusion from its vision of truth, to an-aestheticize the role of imagination, the works of Kant and Hegel put the shadow and illusion to productive use in the endeavor towards truth. In comparing their respective employments of the shadow (qua truth), it is argued that Kant's framework remains in a tragic gothic mode while in Hegel's emerges a more ludic gothic conceptuality-a move that is regarded as a shift from a theory of representation to presentation. In Hegel, imaginative or figurative activity becomes central to the conceptualization of truth itself, and reason takes the form of a shadow-work. Some implications for literary criticism are examined and a close reading of visibility and reasoning in Bram Stoker's Dracula is conducted. (shrink)
In common sense, history is considered as a series of events that follow one another in a one-dimensional, irreversible, and forward-looking direction. This is the familiar understanding that considers history as chronological. In this case, which requires imagining a timeline, past events are separated from future events by the present moment. Each of the events that took place in the past becomes inaccessible and turns into a lost past. The logical consequence of this approach is that the past does not (...) return, and all previous events in the lost past are left irreversibly on the timeline. This can be considered the victory of the chronological time over the human. But man has never wanted to be a loser in this game. (shrink)
This paper seeks to make an assessment of the current political landscape with regard to the way comedy gets deployed as a form of political rhetoric and action. It begins with Alenka Zupančič’s analysis in 'The Odd One In' (2008) of G.W.F. Hegel’s developmental account of ancient Greek theatrical forms. The conclusion of comedy as a concrete universal is then expanded through reference to the performance theory of JeﬀreyC. Alexander. Attention is given to ineﬀective forms of comedy as political action, (...) namely irony. The potential for a subversive form of comedy is identiﬁed and explicated through the 2013 Gezi Park Protests in Turkey. Key to this analysis is the way in which protestors responded to ridicule by state actors and sought to take up the epithet of “çapulcu” (looter) through comedic songs and other protest action. It is argued that oppressed actors came to seriously identity with the epithet by becoming looters of public space thus enacting a kind of concrete universal. Ultimately, the paper makes a call for a more rigorous form of political comedy, one that comes under the heading of a “serious comedy” in opposition to prevailing forms of irony today. (shrink)
У статті проаналізовано символіку збірки Г. Сковороди «Сад божественних пісень». Сильною позицією книжки є символ саду, яку філософ розширив введенням метафоричного образу зерен як мудрості, що «проросли із Священного Писання». У такий спосіб Г. Сковорода розширює межі інтерпретації Біблії крізь призму власного бачення світу. У роботі також досліджено філософські настанови, які проповідував мислитель протягом усього життя. Через універсальність ідей та розлогу інтертекстуальність твори цього барокового автора завжди матимуть невичерпну цінність для літературознавця.
Drawing on both anthropology and philosophy, this paper argues that the profiled form of the human hand is a universally recognizable image; one whose significance transcends temporally and geographically defined cultural divisions, and represents the earliest known artistic symbol of the human form. The unique co-occurrence of five properties in the image of the human hand and the way it is recognized support this argument, including that it is: (1) unmistakably a hand, (2) unmistakably human, (3) a universal point of (...) interface, (4) a universal referent of scale, and (5) an easy way of making a complex shape. This underappreciated aspect of hand art makes these images among the most important forms of early artistic expression encountered in the prehistoric record. (shrink)
I argue that aesthetic ideas should play a significant role in archaeological explanation. I sketch an account of aesthetic interests which is appropriate to archaeological contexts. I illustrate the role of aesthetics through a discussion of the transition from signals to symbols. I argue that the opposition in archaeological debate between explanation and interpretation is one we should reject.
This volume applies a sign-oriented approach to the description of articulatory and acoustic iconic phenomena in James Joyce’s Ulysses. In its hypothesis, the greater the role of sensory experience in the message of a text, the more likely it is to employ linguistic representation in articulated sounds iconically to affect sensory experience. Ulysses is presented as a work of art whose emphasis on sensual impression and sensory experience is reflected in the composition and distribution of its phonemes. Four English phonemes (...) are examined, each in several contexts in Ulysses. A systematic association of resemblance is found between the manner and effort involved in the articulation of each phoneme relative to other phonemes and sounds, and the manner in which semantic content is arranged in the scenes and themes of the book. The different emphases of semantic arrangement associated with each of the examined phonemes are maintained across diverse themes, varied scopes of reference and opposed manners of contextualization. The phonological unit is therefore perceived to carry a semantic impact to complement its differentiating role in linguistic signification. It also offers an innovative approach to Ulysses and exposes new semantic nuances in its narration and characterization techniques. (shrink)
The genre to which an artwork belongs affects how it is to be interpreted and evaluated. An account of genre and of the criteria for genre membership should explain these interpretative and evaluative effects. Contrary to conceptions of genres as categories distinguished by the features of the works that belong to them, I argue that these effects are to be explained by conceiving of genres as categories distinguished by certain of the purposes that the works belonging to them are intended (...) to serve. (shrink)
The question whether art is of any epistemic value is an old question in the philosophy of art. Whereas many contemporary artists, art-critics, and art-historians answer this question affirmatively, many contemporary philosophers remain skeptical. If art is of epistemic significance, they maintain, then it has to contribute to our quest of achieving our most basic epistemic aim, namely knowledge.Unfortunately, recent and widely accepted analyses of knowledge make it very hard to see how art might significantly contribute to the quest of (...) achieving this aim. Hence, by the lights of recent epistemology, it is questionable whether art is of any epistemic value. In order to hold on to the epistemic value of art, one has three options: (a) reject the recent analyses of knowledge that make the epistemic value of art questionable, (b) accept the recent analyses of knowledge but argue that they are compatible with the epistemic value of art, or (c) find another epistemic aim (besides knowledge) and show that art is of significant help in achieving this aim. In this paper I will argue that, at least with respect to pictorial art, option (c) seems promising. By reconsidering some basic insights and ideas from Nelson Goodman we can identify (objective) understanding as an epistemic aim to which pictorial art makes a significant contribution. (shrink)
This article addresses a profound anthropological issue: how do representation and the represented relate? What motivates or warrants the inevitable disconnection? It is a mistake to dismiss representation as misguided, oppressive, or misleading. Representation is part of cognition generally and natural language in particular. As such it is inescapable and part of how we think and talk about the world. Moving between visual and linguistic anthropology I suggest that photographs and portraits provide a rich basis for thinking about the particular (...) sorts of warrants for anthropological representations. The general conclusion is that anthropological representation may be conceived of as a form of ekphrasis (a verbal account or evocation of a typically non-present image or object) providing the indexical or deictic bridge between representation and the object represented. As “similarity implies difference” so “representation implies ekphrasis.” -/- Les Antinomies de la représentation: Anthropologie d'un procédé ekphrastique -/- Résumé: Cet article s'intéresse à une question anthropologique majeure: quel est le lien entre la représentation et le représenté? Qu'est-ce qui motive ou justifie leur inévitable déconnexion? Ce serait une erreur de ne pas prendre au sérieux la représentation sous prétexte qu'elle est erronée, oppressive, ou parce qu'elle prête à confusion. La représentation fait partie de la cognition en général et du langage naturel en particulier. Pour cette raison, elle est inévitable et elle fait partie de la manière dont nous pensons et parlons du monde. En invoquant tour à tour des éléments d'anthropologie visuelle et linguistique, je propose l'hypothèse que les photographies et les portraits constituent une riche archive à partir de laquelle on peut penser les différents types de mandats impartis aux représentations anthropologiques. La conclusion générale de ce propos est que la représentation anthropologique peut être conçue comme une forme d'ekphrasis (un récit ou l’évocation d'une image ou d'un objet typiquement non-présent) fournissant le lien indexical et déictique entre la représentation et l'objet représenté. De même que la “similarité engendre la différence”, “la représentation engendre l'ekphrasis.”. (shrink)
The popularity of logos derived from the Tennessee flag can be explained by its obvious and relevant symbolism, but also by the phenomenon of pragmatic unity through which the Tennessee flag evokes the Confederate flag, as well as by the phenomenon of visual synecdoche, which allows observers to associate the three-star element with the entire flag and its associated meanings.
Nelson Goodman’s attempt to analyse the expressiveness of artworks in semantic terms has been widely criticised. In this paper I try to show how the use of an adapted version of his concept of exemplification, as proposed by Mark Textor, can help to alleviate the worst problems with his theory of expression. More particularly I argue that the recognition of an intention, which is central to Textor’s account of exemplification, is also fundamental to our understanding of expressiveness in art. Moreover (...) I propose that the recognition of this intention depends on our interpretation of the artwork – an insight Goodman tried to capture with his assertion that our attributions of expressive properties to artworks function metaphorically. The realisation of the context-dependence of our expressive judgements about art and, hence, of the central role interpretation plays in these judgements, I contend, counts in favour of theories of expression like Goodman’s that focus on semantic concerns. (shrink)
This paper argues against definitions of depiction in terms of the syntactic and semantic properties of symbol systems. In particular, it is argued that John Kulvicki's definition of depictive symbol systems in terms of relative repleteness, semantic richness, syntactic sensitivity and transparency is susceptible to similar counterexamples as Nelson Goodman's in terms of syntactic density, semantic density and relative repleteness. The general moral drawn is that defining depiction requires attention not merely to descriptive questions about syntax and semantics, but also (...) to foundational questions about what makes it the case that depictions have the syntactic and semantic properties they do. (shrink)
There is a variety of epistemic roles to which photographs are better suited than non-photographic pictures. Photographs provide more compelling evidence of the existence of the scenes they depict than non-photographic pictures. They are also better sources of information about features of those scenes that are easily overlooked. This chapter examines several different attempts to explain the distinctive epistemic value of photographs, and argues that none is adequate. It then proposes an alternative explanation of their epistemic value. The chapter argues (...) that photographs play the epistemic roles they do because they are typically rich sources of depictively encoded information about the scenes they depict, and reliable depictive representations of those scenes. It then explains why photographs differ from non-photographic pictures in both respects. (shrink)
On the 24th and 25th of December every year two very different stories are told: one in people’s homes, by the fireplace or Christmas tree, to pyjamaed but excited and sleepless children; the other to people of all ages in the more imposing setting of candlelit churches and cathedrals. I want to ask, in this essay: Does the telling of these two stories have anything in common? What can we learn by comparing them? The first one, the one I call (...) the ‘secular’ mythology, is the story of Father Christmas. The second, ‘sacred’ mythology is the religious reason why Christmas was ever celebrated as Christmas at all. Although the figure of Santa partly originated in an early Christian bishop (and partly in pagan figures), he has these days become rather more secularized—even, for some, a symbol of secular commercialism. I want to compare these two mythologies as they might effect the way in which we think about Christmas today. I think that philosophical reflection along these lines will allow us to draw some interesting conclusions relevant to theology and the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
The notion of exemplification is essential for Goodman’s theory of symbols. But Goodman’s account of exemplification has been criticized as unclear and inadequate. He points out two conditions for an object x exemplifying a label y: (C1) y denotes x and (C2) x refers to y. While (C1) is uncontroversial, (C2) raises the question of how “refers to” should be interpreted. This problem is intertwined with three further questions that consequently should be discussed together with it. Are the two necessary (...) conditions (C1) and (C2) conjointly sufficient? Do they amount to a definition of “exemplification”? Which notions of Goodman’s theory are basic, and hence undefined? In this paper, we address these questions and defend a reconstruction of the notion of exemplification that interprets “refers to” in (C2) as exemplificational reference and hence treats “exemplification” as a basic notion of Goodman’s theory. Firstly, we argue that even though the notion of exemplification is not defined, it is still sufficiently clear. This ensures its contribution to Goodman’s theory of symbols. Secondly, we show that our account is plausible as an interpretation of Goodman’s and Elgin’s writings, although it implies that some of Goodman’s theorems about selfreference have to be weakened. Thirdly, we argue that it is the only materially adequate reconstruction of Goodman’s notion of exemplification, whereas the alternative definitional accounts fail. (shrink)
By defining both depictive and linguistic representation as kinds of symbol system, Nelson Goodman attempts to undermine the platitude that, whereas linguistic representation is mediated by convention, depiction is mediated by resemblance. I argue that Goodman is right to draw a strong analogy between the two kinds of representation, but wrong to draw the counterintuitive conclusion that depiction is not mediated by resemblance.
Nelson Goodman and, following him, Catherine Z. Elgin and Keith Lehrer have claimed that sometimes a sample is a symbol that stands for the property it is a sample of. The relation between the sample and the property it stands for is called 'exemplification' (Goodman, Elgin) or 'exemplarisation' (Lehrer). Goodman and Lehrer argue that the notion of exemplification sheds light on central problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of mind. However, while there seems to be a phenomenon to be captured, (...) Goodman's account of exemplification has several flaws. In this paper I will offer an alternative account of exemplification that is inspired by Grice's idea that one can communicate something by providing one's audience with intention-independent evidence and letting them draw the obvious conclusion for themselves. This explication of exemplification will solve the problems that arose for Goodman's theory in the spirit of his approach.1. (shrink)
For Kant, the form of a subject's experience of an object provides the normative basis for an aesthetic judgement about it. In other words, if the subject's experience of an object has certain structural properties, then Kant thinks she can legitimately judge that the object is beautiful - and that it is beautiful for everyone. My goal in this paper is to provide a new account of how this 'subjective universalism' is supposed to work. In doing so, I appeal to (...) Kant's notions of an aesthetic idea and an aesthetic attribute, and the connection that Kant makes between an object's expression of rational and the normativity of aesthetic judgements about it. -/- . (shrink)
The participants in this Symposium gathered for a two-day conference on Pictorial Realism at the University of Adelaide. Our aim was to analyse the notion of pictorial realism with a view to its relevance for the way in which art history is conceived and appreciated. Specifically, we examined the extent to which the representational content of artworks can be ascertained independently of preconceived theoretical knowledge about the representational system within which the artwork is made. Papers focus in particular on the (...) implications for understanding pictorial realism. (shrink)
I examine Kant's claim that a relation of symbolization links judgments of beauty and judgments of ‘systematicity’ in nature (that is, judgments concerning the ordering of natural forms under hierarchies of laws). My aim is to show that the symbolic relation between the two is, for Kant, much closer than many commentators think: it is not only the form but also the objects of some of our judgments of taste that symbolize the systematicity of nature. -/- .
What makes pictures different from all of the other ways we have of representing things? Why do pictures seem so immediate? What makes a picture realistic or not? Against prevailing wisdom, Kulvicki claims that what makes pictures special is not how we perceive them, but how they relate to one another. This not only provides some new answers to old questions, but it shows that there are many more kinds of pictures out there than many have thought.
Opera dilettantes will forever argue over the relative importance of words and music in the creation and performance of their beloved art form. For philosophers brave enough to enter the fray, the issue raises a number of interesting ontological and phenomenological questions. In what does the work of opera primarily exist? What is distinctive of opera as a mode of dramatic presentation?
This paper will investigate the anonymous collective of skilled artists which created an immersive work of art of a high order in the Abside (Apse) of the Grotte de Lascaux. The Apse is a roundish, semi-spherical, penumbra-like chamber (like those adjacent to romanesque basiliques) approximately 4.5 metres in diameter (about 5 yards) covered on every wall surface (including the ceiling) with thousands of entangled, overlapping, engraved drawings (Leroi-Gourhan, 1968, p. 315) for which, on request, I received a very unique privilege (...) of seeing, though far too briefly. (shrink)
In his Languages of Art, Nelson Goodman proposes a theory of artistic notation that includes foundational requirements for any system of symbols we might use to specify and communicate the features of an artwork, in architecture or any other art form. Goodmans' theory usefully explains how notation can reveal linguistic-like phenomena of various art forms. But not all art forms can enjoy benefits of a full-blown notational system, in Goodman's view, and he suggests that architecture's symbol systems fall short in (...) this regard. It is a shortcoming of architecture, he believes, that its notation cannot communicate the sum of a given work's essential features. Against this view it may be argued that artworks are generally and inimically historical in character, such that an inability to capture this dimension may result in a failure to pick out the identity of a work. As a consequence, the suggestion of that inability looks like a shortcoming of the general notational theory rather than of the art form or its notation per se. I defend Goodman's background formalism against the criticism that an ahistoricist notation cannot possibly be adequate. But I reject his view that no actual architectural notation can satisfy the formal criteria of his theory. In particular, I propose that the foundational theory for Computer Aided Design (CAD) described by the architect William Mitchell satisfies Goodman's criteria and so yields a notation that enables communication of an architectural work's essential features. If, as I suggest, such a notation is feasible, then we have an additional result that Goodman foresees: a means of abstracting future architectural works from their historical contexts. This in turn yields a consequence at which Goodman only hints-that such architectural works can be intellectually grasped and physically constructed along purely formalist lines. One practical result here is that we introduce economical solutions to architectural design. On a theoretical level, we also expose the inessential character of historical properties to creating or understanding architecture, at least with respect to future possible works. (shrink)
Every materially adequate explication of the concepts ``picture''and ``the pictorial'' has to appeal to syntactical properties.From the available definitions, a conception of syntax is extractedthat is applicable to symbol systems of any sort. Against thisbackground, it is shown that a non-semantical characterization ofthe pictorial is mandatory. Finally, specific syntactical featuresare explicated that recommend themselves as necessary conditions forthe application of the concept of a picture.
In nelson goodman's "languages of art" a symbol system must be 'finitely differentiated', both syntactically and semantically, to count as a 'notation'. goodman's formulations of these differentiation requirements are seriously defective. it is shown that most of the examples of systems which he claims fail these requirements, do not fail them as they are stated. reformulations of the two requirements are offered, which accord with the examples and seem otherwise acceptable.