Les Arts et les Images se veut une introduction aux principaux terrains d’investigation de Dominic McIver Lopes, philosophe canadien contemporain, figure incontournable de l’esthétique et de la philosophie de l’art en langue anglaise au cours des vingt dernières années. Il ouvre une réflexion sur les méthodes employées en esthétique et philosophie de l’art aujourd’hui, qu’on soit un philosophe dit « analytique » ou bien « continental », Lopes cherchant à penser le lien entre les deux traditions. -/- À (...) travers leur textes respectifs, Laure Blanc-Benon, Jacques Morizot et Frédéric Pouillaude instaurent un dialogue avec Dominic McIver Lopes, sur plusieurs de ses livres : Understanding Pictures (1996), ouvrage de référence sur la question philosophique des images et de la représentation, Beyond Art (2014), livre qui traite de la question classique au XXe siècle de la définition de l’œuvre d’art, et Four Arts of Photography (2016) dans lequel Dominic Lopes met en avant une nouvelle philosophie de la photographie. À ce dialogue s’ajoutent trois textes de Lopes inédits en français, portant sur la méthode de l’esthétique et de la philosophie de l’art et également sur la question de la beauté et de la valeur esthétique. (shrink)
Dominic McIver Lopes’ Four Arts of Photography and Diarmuid Costello’s On Photography: A Philosophical Inquiry examine the state of the art in analytic philosophy of photography and present a new approach to the study of the medium. As opposed to the orthodox and prevalent view, which emphasizes its epistemic capacities, the new theory reconsiders the nature of photography, and redirects focus towards the aesthetic potential of the medium. This symposium comprises two papers that critically examine central questions addressed in (...) the two books, with responses by the two authors in defence of their respective positions. (shrink)
There is not one but many ways to picture the world--Australian "x-ray" pictures, cubish collages, Amerindian split-style figures, and pictures in two-point perspective each draw attention to different features of what they represent. Understanding Pictures argues that this diversity is the central fact with which a theory of figurative pictures must reckon. Lopes advances the theory that identifying pictures' subjects is akin to recognizing objects whose appearances have changed over time. He develops a schema for categorizing the different ways (...) pictures represent--the different kinds of meaning they have--and argues that that depiction's epistemic value lies in its representational diversity. He also offers a novel account of the phenomenology of pictorial experience, comparing pictures to visual prostheses like mirrors and binoculars. (shrink)
Images have power - for good or ill. They may challenge us to see things anew and, in widening our experience, profoundly change who we are. The change can be ugly, as with propaganda, or enriching, as with many works of art. Sight and Sensibility explores the impact of images on what we know, how we see, and the moral assessments we make. Dominic Lopes shows how these are part of, not separate from, the aesthetic appeal of images. His (...) book will be essential reading for anyone working in aesthetics and art theory, and for all those intrigued by the power of images to affect our lives. '...tightly focused and carefully argued... an exceptionally interesting contribution to the philosophy of art: it contains subtle, concise, and convincing discussions of a number of difficult concepts and contentious doctrines... lucid and meticulous'. (shrink)
This book offers a bold new approach to the philosophy of art. General theories of art don't work: they can't deal with problem cases. Instead of trying to define art, we should accept that a work of art is nothing but a work in one of the arts. Lopes's buck passing theory works well for the avant garde, illuminating its radical provocations.
For centuries, philosophers have identified beauty with what brings pleasure. Dominic McIver Lopes challenges this interpretation by offering an entirely new theory of beauty - that beauty engages us in action, in concert with others, in the context of social networks - and sheds light on why aesthetic engagement is crucial for quality of life.
What is computer art? Do the concepts we usually employ to talk about art, such as ‘meaning’, ‘form’ or ‘expression’ apply to computer art? _A Philosophy of Computer Art_ is the first book to explore these questions. Dominic Lopes argues that computer art challenges some of the basic tenets of traditional ways of thinking about and making art and that to understand computer art we need to place particular emphasis on terms such as ‘interactivity’ and ‘user’. Drawing on a (...) wealth of examples he also explains how the roles of the computer artist and computer art user distinguishes them from makers and spectators of traditional art forms and argues that computer art allows us to understand better the role of technology as an art medium. (shrink)
Dissertação: LOPES, Albert Drummond. A infecção da alma: um estudo do combate à imoralidade no jornal O Diário no período do Estado Novo. 2014. Dissertação , Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências da Religião, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte.
This book proposes a new methodology for aesthetics, where problems in philosophy are addressed by examining how aesthetic phenomena are understood in the human sciences. Lopes then puts the methodology to work, illuminating the perceptual and social-pragmatic capacities involved in responding to works of visual art, literature, and music.
What are pictures good for? “Nothing” recurs as the apparently irrepress- ible reply of a motley collection iconophobes from Plato to the mediaeval iconoclasts, to parents concerned about comic books, to postmoderns in a lather over “scopic regimes”. In the aftermath of Nelson Goodman’s Languages of Art (1976), philosophers doubled down on theories of depiction and pictorial experience, but they have not rushed to work on the value of pictures. Those few who have written about pictorial value have taken for (...) granted an approach aptly dubbed “psychologism” (Wol- lheim 1987; Hopkins 1997; Lopes 2005). According to psychologism, we can understand pictorial value by appealing only to cognitive traits and capacities. Yet psychologism is enough out of step with studies of pic- tures outside philosophy that it dampens philosophy’s impact on the very scholars who could most use a defense of pictorial value. Here is a thesis: psychologism is false. Here is its payoff: an alternative to psychologism better suits the work of scholars outside philosophy. (shrink)
One question that leads us into aesthetics is: why does beauty matter? Or, what do aesthetic goods bring to my life, to make it a life that goes well? Or, how does beauty deserve the place we have evidently made for it in our lives? A theory of aesthetic value states what beauty is so as to equip us to answer this question. According to aesthetic hedonism, aesthetic values are properties of items that stand in constitutive relation to pleasure. Contemporary (...) versions of aesthetic hedonism don’t explain what makes aesthetic values aesthetic, but they do explain what makes them normative, stating what makes it the case that aesthetic value facts lend weight to what an agent should do, for the fact that acting yields pleasure is always a reason to act. This book introduces and defends an alternative to aesthetic hedonism. According to the network theory, aesthetic value facts lend weight to its being an achievement for an agent to act. Since agents achieve by acting in coordination with one another, the theory takes seriously the sociality of aesthetic activity. The main argument for the network theory is that it better explains six facts about aesthetic activity than does aesthetic hedonism. The book also discusses the relationship between aesthetic value and pleasure, the point and distinctive character of aesthetic discourse, and the metaphysics of aesthetic value. Two final chapters use the network theory to shed light on how aesthetic value matters to us as individuals and as members of collectives. (shrink)
Images are double agents. They receive information from the world, while also projecting visual imagination onto the world. As a result, mind and world tug our thinking about images, or particular kinds of images, in contrary directions. On one common division, world traces itself mechanically in photographs, whereas mind expresses itself through painting.1 Scholars of photography disavow such crude distinctions: much recent writing attends in detail to the materials and processes of photography, the agency of photographic artists, and the social (...) determinants of the production and reception of photographs. As such writing makes plain, photographs cannot be reduced to mechanical traces.2 Yet background conceptions of photography as trace or index persist almost by default, as no framework of comparable explanatory power has yet emerged to replace them. A conception of photography adequate to developments in recent scholarship is long overdue. Rather than constructing such a conception top-down, as philosophers are wont to do, this paper articulates it by examining selected works by James Welling.3 There are several reasons for this: Welling’s practice persistently explores the resources and possibilities of photography, the effect of these explorations is to express a particular metaphysics of the mind’s relation to its world, and appreciating why this metaphysics is aptly expressed by exploring photography requires a revised conception of what photography is. In as much as it provides a framework for a richer interpretation of Welling, the new conception is also capable of underwriting a wide range of critical and historical approaches to photography. (shrink)
How are patriarchal regimes perpetuated and reproduced? Kate Manne’s recent work on misogyny aims to provide an answer to this central question. According to her, misogyny is a property of social environments where women perceived as violating patriarchal norms are ‘kept down’ through hostile reactions coming from men, other women and social structures. In this paper, I argue that Manne’s approach is problematically incomplete. I do so by examining a recent puzzling social phenomenon which I call (post-)feminist backlash: the rise (...) of women-led movements reinstating patriarchal practices in the name of feminism. I focus on the example of ‘raunch feminist’ CAKE parties and argue that their pro-patriarchal dimension cannot be adequately explained by misogyny. I propose instead a different story that emphasizes the continued centrality of gender distinctions in our social normative life, even as gendered social meanings become increasingly contested. This triggers meaning vertigo, a distinct form of social anxiety and the reactionary impulse at the heart of (post)-feminist backlash. Meaning vertigo both complicates the answer to Manne’s main question—“why is misogyny still a thing?”—and suggests the need and opportunity for a different kind of feminist political intervention. (shrink)
Representational theories of mind cannot individuate the sense modalities in a principled manner. According to representationalism, the phenomenal character of experiences is determined by their contents. The usual objection is that inverted qualia are possible, so the phenomenal character of experiences may vary independently of their contents. But the objection is inconclusive. It raises difficult questions about the metaphysics of secondary qualities and it is difficult to see whether or not inverted qualia are possible. This paper proposes an alternative test (...) of representationalism. Do experiences in different sense modalities have the same phenomenal character when they share content? Psychological work on the perception of shape through vision and spatial hearing is discussed. This work shows that visual and auditory experiences differ in phenomenal character even in so far as they represent similar properties. This objection to representationalism does not invite questions about secondary qualities or depend on establishing metaphysical possibilities. (shrink)
Art works realize many values. According to tradition, not all of these values are characteristic of art: art works characteristically bear aesthetic value. Breaking with tradition, some now say that art works bear artistic value, as distinct from aesthetic value. I argue that there is no characteristic artistic value distinct from aesthetic value. The argument for this thesis suggests a new way to think about aesthetic value as it is characteristically realized by works of art.
The question "what is art?" is often said to be venerable and vexing. In fact, the following answer to the question should be obvious: (R) item x is a work of art if and only if x is a work in practice P and P is one of the arts. Yet (R) has appeared so far from obvious that nobody has given it a moment's thought. The trouble is not that anyone might seriously deny the truth of (R), but rather (...) that they will find it uninformative. After all, the vexing question is pressed upon us by radical changes in art of the avant-garde, and (R) offers no resources to address these changes. With that in mind, here is the case for (R). The challenges posed by the avant-garde are real enough and they need to be addressed, but the vexing question is the wrong question to ask to address them. It does not follow that the question has no good answer. On the contrary, (R) is all the answer we need, if we do not need an answer that addresses the challenges posed by the avant-garde. Moreover, (R) points to a question that we do need answered. So, not only is it true but, in addition, (R) is as informative as we need. (shrink)
When we look at photographs we literally see the objects that they are of. But seeing photographs as photographs engages aesthetic interests that are not engaged by seeing the objects that they are of. These claims appear incompatible. Sceptics about photography as an art form have endorsed the first claim in order to show that there is no photographic aesthetic. Proponents of photography as an art form have insisted that seeing things in photographs is quite unlike seeing things face-to-face. This (...) paper argues that the claims are compatible. While seeing things in photographs is quite unlike seeing things face-to-face, nevertheless seeing things in photographs is one way of seeing things. The differences between seeing things by means of photographs and by means of the naked eye provide the elements of an account of the aesthetic interests photographs engage. (shrink)
If good taste is a virtue, then an account of good taste might be modelled on existing accounts of moral or epistemic virtue. One good reason to develop such an account is that it helps solve otherwise intractable problems in aesthetics. This paper proposes an alternative to neo-Aristotelian models of good taste. It then contrasts the neo-Aristotelian models with the proposed model, assessing them for their potential to contend with otherwise intractable problems in aesthetics.
A theory of aesthetic value should explain the performance of aesthetic experts, for aesthetic experts are agents who track aesthetic value. Aesthetic empiricism, the theory that an item's aesthetic value is its power to yield aesthetic pleasure, suggests that aesthetic experts are best at locating aesthetic pleasure, especially given aesthetic internalism, the view that aesthetic reasons always have motivating force. Problems with empiricism and internalism open the door to an alternative. Aesthetic experts perform a range of actions not aimed at (...) pleasure. Yet their reasons for acting are aesthetic. Since aesthetic values figure in aesthetic reasons, we can read a nonempiricist theory of aesthetic value off aesthetic experts’ reasons for acting. (shrink)
This paper addresses the following problem: to what extent do ontological considerations about musical works affect our evaluation of performances of those works? I argue for the claim that at least some important grounds on which performances are evaluated are specific to them, in that these grounds are either independent from, or related but not fully determined by, the properties of the works they are of. In the first part of the paper, I explore the relations between good-making features of (...) works and of performances of them. The second and third parts develop two kinds of example in favour of the claim above. In the last part, I discuss the significance of those examples in relation to the ways in which performances are assessed, and explore some further ramifications of them. (shrink)
Everybody assumes (1) that musical performances are sonic events and (2) that their expressive properties are sonic properties. This paper discusses recent findings in the psychology of music perception that show that visual information combines with auditory information in the perception of musical expression. The findings show at the very least that arguments are needed for (1) and (2). If music expresses what we think it does, then its expressive properties may be visual as well as sonic; and if its (...) expressive properties are purely sonic, then music expresses less than we think it does. And if the expressive properties of music are visual as well as sonic, then music is not what we think it is—it is not purely sonic. (shrink)
Aesthetic hedonists agree that an aesthetic value is a property of an item that stands in some constitutive relation to pleasure. Surprisingly, however, aesthetic hedonists need not reduce aesthetic normativity to hedonic normativity. They might demarcate aesthetic value as a species of hedonic value, but deny that the reason we have to appreciate an item is simply that it pleases. Such is the approach taken by an important strand of South Asian rasa theory that is represented with great clarity and (...) ingenuity in the work of K. C. Bhattacharyya. Bhattacharyya is an aesthetic hedonist who grounds aesthetic normativity in freedom. (shrink)
The chief sources of aesthetic experience for most people around the world are now the mass broadcasting and recording technologies. Yet analytic aesthetics has had little to say about mass art. Recent accounts of art and the aesthetic, while accommodating the consensus concerning central cases, are largely propelled by problem cases drawn from the avant-garde, and one wonders what the effect will be of adding works of mass art to the equation. One also wonders whether making room for mass art (...) will put pressure on standard views about art and emotion, or the moral or political content of art. It’s time for a comprehensive and sensible philosophical examination of mass art, and this is what we have in Noël Carroll’s latest book. (shrink)
How many words—and which ones—are sufficient to define all other words? When dictionaries are analyzed as directed graphs with links from defining words to defined words, they reveal a latent structure. Recursively removing all words that are reachable by definition but that do not define any further words reduces the dictionary to a Kernel of about 10% of its size. This is still not the smallest number of words that can define all the rest. About 75% of the Kernel turns (...) out to be its Core, a “Strongly Connected Subset” of words with a definitional path to and from any pair of its words and no word's definition depending on a word outside the set. But the Core cannot define all the rest of the dictionary. The 25% of the Kernel surrounding the Core consists of small strongly connected subsets of words: the Satellites. The size of the smallest set of words that can define all the rest—the graph's “minimum feedback vertex set” or MinSet—is about 1% of the dictionary, about 15% of the Kernel, and part-Core/part-Satellite. But every dictionary has a huge number of MinSets. The Core words are learned earlier, more frequent, and less concrete than the Satellites, which are in turn learned earlier, more frequent, but more concrete than the rest of the Dictionary. In principle, only one MinSet's words would need to be grounded through the sensorimotor capacity to recognize and categorize their referents. In a dual-code sensorimotor/symbolic model of the mental lexicon, the symbolic code could do all the rest through recombinatory definition. (shrink)
Este artigo aborda as principais teorias sobre a natureza metafísica das obras de arte, cobrindo as propostas eliminativistas, monistas e pluralistas. Entre estas últimas, é dado destaque ao trabalho sobre a ontologia das artes performativas, e em particular, da música. Termina-se com uma referência à recente viragem da discussão para o campo da meta-ontologia e a polémica sobre a plausibilidade do revisionismo ontológico no caso de artefactos ou objectos sociais.
_Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts_ is the first comprehensive collection of papers by philosophers examining the nature of imagination and its role in understanding and making art. Imagination is a central concept in aesthetics with close ties to issues in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language, yet it has not received the kind of sustained, critical attention it deserves. This collection of seventeen brand new essays critically examines just how and in what form the notion of imagination (...) illuminates fundamental problems in the philosophy of art. (shrink)
Several recent books indicate that the philosophy of art has embarked upon a new alliance with cognitive science. One impetus for this is the move, beginning in the 70s and 80s, away from general aesthetics to a greater concern with the philosophies of the individual arts. Questions about the nature of art, expression, aesthetic experience and aesthetic properties as generic phenomena are still with us but many philosophers now approach them by means of specialized studies of music, literature, film, the (...) visual arts or the performing arts. Some claim that these questions can only be answered, or can best be answered, by studying the individual art forms. This has brought aesthetics into alignment with empirical research, which has always been concerned with individual art forms, for reasons having to do both with experimental design and with views of the mind as functionally differentiated. There is no psychological work on the perception of beauty, for example, but only on the perception of visual beauty, beauty in music and the like. Now that aesthetics is equally specialized, empirical research on the individual arts can be brought to bear upon familiar problems in aesthetics. (shrink)
Pictures are principally descriptive. Advertising images highlight features of potential purchases; cartoons open portals to scenes in fictional worlds; snapshots in the family photo album remind us of our past selves and landmark events in our personal histories; works of pictorial art express thoughts or feelings about depicted scenes. In addition, pictures serve a directive or action-guiding function that, though not taken into account by theorists, deserves no less attention than their descriptive one. Theories of depiction and the appreciation of (...) pictures stand to benefit by taking "directive pictures" into account, as do theories of representation in general and mental representation in particular. (shrink)
It is widely assumed that the art media can be individuated with reference to the sense modalities. Different art media are perceived by means of different sense modalities, and this tells us what properties of each medium are aesthetically relevant. The case of pictures appears to fit this principle well, for pictures are deemed purely and paradigmatically visual representations. However, recent psychological studies show that congenitally and early blind people have the ability to interpret and make raised‐line drawings through touch. (...) This shows that pictures are not essentially visual representations. The view that pictures are essentially visual follows from influential views of the nature of depiction and of the nature of vision that are mistaken. By rooting out the mistake, we learn something about pictures, something about vision, and something about the doctrine that art media are individuated by the sense modalities. (shrink)
Cooperation among arts scholars is thought to be hampered by the division of research on the arts into two cultures, one scientific, one humanistic. This paper proposes an alternative model for research into the arts wherein multiple levels of explanation focussed on well-bounded phenomena integrate research across academic disciplines. Two case studies of research that fits the model are presented.
O artigo parte do consenso sobre a facto de que a arte tem valor para a exploração dos vários problemas sobre esse valor cujas soluções dividem os filósofos da arte. O enfoque é especialmente sobre a dimensão mais actual do debate em torno do tema, que se debruça não tanto sobre questões como o realismo quanto aos valores estéticos e a objectividade e justificação dos juízos de valor estético, mas acima de tudo sobre a natureza do valor artístico – que (...) tipo de valor é e em que propriedades da arte (se nalguma) reside. (shrink)
Empirical research on aesthetic response poses two challenges to philosophy. The more familiar challenge is that scientific explanations of aesthetic responses debunk what we take to be our reasons for those responses. One reaction to this challenge is an accommodation strategy that seeks to reconcile the scientific findings with an improved understanding of our normative reasons. This paper presents a more fundamental challenge: a well-established body of research in social psychology indicates that we routinely confabulate the reasons we give for (...) our aesthetic response. This challenges the accommodation strategy and suggests that philosophy should adopt a more radical naturalism about aesthetic response. (shrink)