This paper addresses two related topics: 1. The disanalogies between elective cosmetic practices and sex reassignment surgery. Why does it seem necessary for me – an aging professional woman – to ignore the blandishments of hairdressers wielding dyes and dermatologists wielding acids and scalpels? Why does it not seem equally necessary for a transgendered person to repudiate sex reassignment procedures? 2. The role of the body in identity and agency. How do phenomenological insights regarding the constitution of selfhood in relation (...) to the interplay between the body image and corporeal know-how contribute to an account of the agency of transgendered individuals? Studying several paintings by contemporary feminist artist JennySaville has advanced my thinking on these topics. Saville’s imagery is an invaluable aid to reflection on these issues because she uses her painterly technique, which critics often dub “virtuoso,” to represent lived human bodies. In her work, viewers encounter representations of subjectivized, agentic corporeity, as distinct from inert, objectified flesh. Moreover, her sympathetic engagement with nonconformist, devalued bodies helps to reconfigure the standard gestalts of the human body that viewers typically carry with them and thus to convert fear and/or disgust into appreciation and understanding. In this paper, I consider three of Saville’s paintings. Plan, Saville’s self-portrait as a nude female whose body has been prepped for liposuction, conveys the pathos of this procedure. Matrix is a nude portrait of self-described “gender variant visual artist” Del LaGrace Volcano. In the words of one critic Saville’s depiction of Volcano’s nude intersexed body “restores beauty to the primitive [female] genital organ.” Passage, another nude portrait of an intersexed individual, is an image of vibrant sexuality despite the presumptively jarring juxtaposition of breasts and a penis. I argue that conceiving the agentic subject as a rational deliberative capability that uses a conjoined body as the instrument of its will makes it impossible to theorize the agency of transgendered people. In contrast, when agentic subjects are understood as embodied subjects and embodiment is understood as a dimension of practical intelligence, the agency of transgendered individuals is intelligible. (shrink)
JennySaville is a leading contemporary painter of female nudes. This paper explores her work in light of theories of gender and embodied agency. Recent work on the phenomenology of embodiment draws a distinction between the body image and the body schema. The body image is your representation of your own body, including your visual image of it and your emotional attitudes towards it. The body schema is comprised of your proprioceptive knowledge, your corporeally encoded memories, and your (...) corporeal proficiency with respect to various environments and activities. Saville is concerned with body image issues, and I discuss how she reconfigures representational practices with respect to feminine body images. However, the most exciting potential for feminist analysis of the state of the female nude derives from the concept of the body schema, for this concept endows the human body with subjectivity and agency. My key question, then, is by what pictorial means and to what extent Saville succeeds in representing agentic womanhood. I argue that interpreting Saville’s paintings from the standpoint of the body schema demonstrates the radicality of her remaking of the female nude and the rapport between her imagery and feminist values. (shrink)
: This essay examines an aesthetics of disgust through an analysis of the work of Scottish painter JennySaville. Saville's paintings suggest that there is something valuable in retaining and interrogating our immediate and seemingly unambivalent reactions of disgust. I contrast Saville's representations of disgust to the repudiation of disgust that characterizes contemporary corporeal politics. Drawing on the theoretical work of Elspeth Probyn and Julia Kristeva, I suggest that an aesthetics of disgust reveals the fundamental ambiguity (...) of embodiment, allowing us to critically attend to the aesthetic and cultural objectification of the female body. (shrink)
This essay examines an aesthetics of disgust through an analysis of the work of Scottish painter JennySaville. Saville's paintings suggest that there is something valuable in retaining and interrogating our immediate and seemingly unambivalent reactions of disgust. I contrast Saville's representations of disgust to the repudiation of disgust that characterizes contemporary corporeal politics. Drawing on the theoretical work of Elspeth Probyn and Julia Kristeva, I suggest that an aesthetics of disgust reveals the fundamental ambiguity of (...) embodiment, allowing us to critically attend to the aesthetic and cultural objectification of the female body. (shrink)
I develop a theory of counterfactuals about relative computability, i.e. counterfactuals such as 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then the halting problem would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is true, and 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then arithmetical truth would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is false. These counterfactuals are counterpossibles, i.e. they have metaphysically impossible antecedents. They thus pose a challenge to the orthodoxy about counterfactuals, which would treat them as uniformly true. What’s more, I (...) argue that these counterpossibles don’t just appear in the periphery of relative computability theory but instead they play an ineliminable role in the development of the theory. Finally, I present and discuss a model theory for these counterfactuals that is a straightforward extension of the familiar comparative similarity models. (shrink)
It is commonly held that the ascription of truth to a sentence is intersubstitutable with that very sentence. However, the simplest subclassical logics available to proponents of this view, namely K3 and LP, are hopelessly weak for many purposes. In this paper, I argue that this is much more of a problem for proponents of LP than for proponents of K3. The strategies for recapturing classicality offered by proponents of LP are far less promising than those available to proponents of (...) K3. This undermines the ability of proponents LP to engage in public reasoning in classical domains. (shrink)
An educational provision for young children with autism that offers intensive behavioural intervention based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), within an early years mainstream school setting in the UK, is described. The ABA Class at Westwood School is a collaborative project between the School of Psychology, Bangor University, two Local Education Authorities in North East Wales (Flintshire and Wrexham) and the local NHS Trust. Using two case examples, two important features of mainstream education for children with autism (...) are considered: access to the National Curriculum, and inclusion with peers in mainstream settings. Standardised test data on outcomes for these children over the initial 12 months of their educational placements are also provided. (shrink)
This book has been written in the hopes of equipping teachers-in-training—that is, teacher candidates—with the skills needed for action research: a process that leads to focused, effective, and responsive strategies that help students succeed.
This article criticizes what I call "Raunchy" feminist art by employing discussions of pornography and objectification from Eaton and Nussbaum. Artists considered include Carolee Schneeman, Cindy Sherman, Lisa Yuskavage, and JennySaville. The article includes by citing examples of feminist art dealing with erotic material in a more productive manner: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Kiki Smith, and Marlene Dumas.
The aim of this paper is to explore what could be meant by modernist portraiture. On the face of it, there is a real tension about the very idea of modernist portraiture inasmuch as one key idea of modernism is negativity and self-negation, whereas portraiture is, in some very obvious sense, not negation. It is the depiction of the sitter. So there are reasons to think that modernist portraiture, in the strong sense of the term, is a contradiction in terms. (...) Nonetheless, I argue that there is such a thing as genuine modernist portraiture – modernist portraiture in the strong sense. But it is not easy to pull it off. And the modernist act of creating portraits of people not present also reveals something important about the nature of depiction and the importance of mental imagery in picture perception. (shrink)
This paper presents a close analysis of Steve Pyke’s famous series of portraits of philosophers. By comparing his photographs to other well-known series of portraits and to other portraits of philosophers we will seek a better understanding of the distinctiveness and fittingness of Pyke’s project. With brief nods to Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, G.W.F. Hegel, and Arthur Schopenhauer and an extensive critical investigation of Cynthia Freeland’s ideas on portraiture in general and her reading of Steve Pyke’s (...) class='Hi'>portraits in particular, this paper will also aim to make a contribution to the philosophical debate on portraiture. (shrink)
Portraits are defined in part by their aim to reveal and represent the inner ‘character’ of a person. Because landscapes are typically viewed as lacking such an ‘inner life,’ one might assume that landscapes cannot be the subject of portraiture. However, the notion of landscape character plays an important role in landscape aesthetics and preservation. In this essay, I argue that landscape artworks can thus share in portraiture’s goal of capturing character, and in doing so present us with essential (...) tools for revealing the often ineffable character of place. I explain the implications of this view for debates about scientific cognitivism in environmental aesthetics, representing the narrative dimension of landscape character and integrity, and appeals to the character of place in historic and environmental preservation. (shrink)
Portraits of Wittgenstein and Hume are used as test cases in some preliminary investigations of a new kind of philosophical picture. Such pictures are produced via a variety of visual transformations of the original portraits, with a final selection for display and discussion being based on the few results that seem to have some interesting relevance to the character or philosophical views of the philosopher in question.
Among contemporary ethicists, Hume is perhaps best known for his views about morality’s practical import and his spectator-centered account of moral evaluation. Yet according to the so-called “spectator complaint”, these two aspects of Hume’s moral theory cannot be reconciled with one another. I argue that the answer to the spectator complaint lies in Hume’s account of “goodness” and “greatness of mind”. Through a discussion of these two virtues, Hume makes clear the connection between his views about moral motivation and his (...) understanding of moral evaluation by providing us with two portraits of the Humean moral agent. (shrink)
The Portraits of Care study used portraiture to investigate ideas about care and care giving at the intersection of art and medicine. The study employed mixed methods involving both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. All aspects of the study were approved by the Institutional Review Board. The study included 26 patient and 20 caregiver subjects. Patient subjects were drawn from across the lifespan and included healthy and ill patients. Caregiver subjects included professional and familial caregivers. All subjects gave their (...) informed consent for the study and the subsequent exhibition of artwork. The artist drew or painted 100 portraits during the 2-year study. A multi-disciplinary analysis team carried out the initial analysis of portraits and subject data. Findings from their qualitative analysis were used to develop a quantitative survey and qualitative journal tool that the public used to give feedback at the subsequent exhibition. Exhibition data confirmed the initial findings. Study results showed the introspection of subjects that revealed their sense of identity and psychological status. Patients appear as ‘whole people’, not fragmented by diagnosis. Caregivers' portraits reveal their commitment to care. There is also a sense of mutuality and fluidity in the background stories of subjects. Many patient subjects have been caregivers and, at times, caregivers are also patients. Public data emphasised the identity transformation of subjects, the centrality of the idea of mortality, the presence of hope despite adversity, and the importance of empathy and compassion in care. (shrink)
Self-portrait photography presents an elucidatory range of cases for investigating the relationship between automatism and artistic agency in photography— a relationship that is seen as a problem in the philosophy of art. I discuss self-portraits by photographers who examine and portray their own identities as artists working in the medium of photography. I argue that the automatism inherent in the production of a photograph has made it possible for artists to extend the tradition of self-portraiture in a way that (...) is radically different from previous visual arts. In Section I, I explain why self-portraiture offers a way to address the apparent conflict between automatism and agency that is debated in the philosophy of art. In Section II, I explain why mirrors play an important function in the production of a traditional self-portrait. In Sections III and IV, I discuss how photographers may create self-portraits with and without the use of mirrors to show how photography offers unique and important new forms of self-portraiture. (shrink)
This article addresses the portrait as a philosophical form of art. Portraits seek to render the subjective objectively visible. In portraiture two fundamental aims come into conflict: the revelatory aim of faithfulness to the subject, and the creative aim of artistic expression. In the first part of my paper, studying works by Rembrandt, I develop a typology of four different things that can be meant when speaking of an image’s power to show a person: accuracy, testimony of presence, emotional (...) characterization, or revelation of the essential “air” (to use Roland Barthes’ term). In the second half of my paper this typology is applied to examples from painting and photography to explore how the two media might differ. I argue that, despite photography’s alleged ‘realism’ and ‘transparency,’ it allows for artistic portraiture and presents the same basic conflict between portraiture’s two aims, the revelatory and the expressive. (shrink)
What can we learn from plants? Which forms of intelligence and knowledge can we discover by dedicating ourselves to understanding the life of a plant, its characteristics, interactions with the environment and cultural narratives? This article aims to bridge recent studies in plant intelligence, Semiotics and creative processes. Departing form the idea that the world arrived at a critical situation and the planet Earth cannot continue being exploited as an infinite source, we argue that it is necessary to promote transformations (...) in our culture, abandoning the anthropocentric framework and looking for new perspectives. In this sense, connecting communication, art, science and education, the purpose of Plant Portraits is to create experiences and propitiate encounters that catalyse the awakening of an expanded and integrated consciousness. (shrink)
This article explores and critically contextualises the photographic production of heliotherapist Auguste Rollier (1874–1954), specifically the ‘patient portraits’ photographed at his Leysin sanatoria over a substantial period of four decades, c.1903–1944. It argues that these photographs, ignored in secondary literature, were particularly persuasive in communicating the natural healing powers of sunlight and through their international dissemination brought Rollier's work professional acclaim and prestige. Always presenting anonymous patients, and most often children, the images produced for Rollier's work interweave aesthetic and (...) medical interests. Whether through the aesthetics of the photograph, of the positioning and appearance of the patient's body, or of the language used to describe these, issues of beauty and harmony were significant preoccupations for Rollier and the dissemination of his heliotherapeutic practice. The article argues that these aesthetic preoccupations drove his work, that the patient's progress and final cure, and thus the therapy's efficacy, were determined by aesthetic criteria—read through the body itself and its photographic representation. This legibility, of the body and its photography, was crucial to articulating the sun's perceived natural ability to improve, heal and even ‘rebuild’ individual patients into socially and physically productive citizens. As such, the article contends, Rollier privileged image over word, conceiving the former as possessing an unequalled ‘eloquence’ to communicate the efficacy and social potential of heliotherapy. (shrink)
Cynthia Freeland’s investigation of four kinds of ‘fidelity’ in portraiture is cut across by more general philosophical concerns. One is about what might be called the expression of persons--the persons or ‘inner selves’ of portrait subjects and of portrait artist: whether either is possible across each of the four kinds of fidelity, and whether these two kinds of expression are in tension. More fundamental is the problem of telling how self-expression is at all possible in any of these forms. Finally, (...) she wonders how photography affects all these questions. This comment addresses portraiture not so much in terms of the four fidelities, but with another quartet of concepts: four ordinary types of ‘display’, in terms of which we see how artists’ self-expression is possible in all these forms, also including photography. Its key idea is that portraits are displays simply by being pictures or sculptures, which are kinds of artifacts, hence things that we perceive as having intentional affordance: that is, as being intentionally made ‘for’ something. (shrink)
Rylands English MS 60, compiled for the Spencer family in the eighteenth century, contains 130 printed portraits of early modern artists gathered from diverse sources and mounted in two albums: 76 portraits in the first volume, which is devoted to northern European artists, and 54 in the second volume, containing Italian and French painters. Both albums of this 'Collection of Engravings of Portraits of Painters' were initially planned to include a written biography of each artist copied from (...) the few sources available in English at the time, but that part of the project was abandoned. This article relates English MS 60 to shinning practices of picturing art history. It examines the rise of printed artists' portraits, tracing the divergent histories of the genre south and north of the Alps, and explores how biographical approaches to the history of art were being replaced, in the eighteenth century, by the development of illustrated texts about art. (shrink)
The last part of Wittgenstein's Blue Book consists of a discussion of Solipsism. In the course of that discussion there occur several remarks which are explicitly concerned with the concept of a person and with the criteria of personal identity. This section is replaced in the Philosophical Investigations by half a sentence which reads: ‘… there is a great variety of criteria for personal “ identity ”’. Wittgenstein has italicised the word ‘identity’, and has placed it in inverted commas: I (...) don't quite know why he does this, but it might be a hint to the effect that there is something slightly suspect about the notion of personal identity. (shrink)
This article considers the photographs of Francesca Woodman in terms of the complex and ambivalent set of relations they configure between photographer, photographed subject and viewer. Usually described as ‘self-portraits’, the subject of these fleeting, fractured images simultaneously presents itself whilst seeming to withdraw from them. The self, there where it most openly declares itself, disappears. Drawing on Jean-Luc Nancy's concept of exposition, or exposure, which posits the self as being in-exteriority, thinking the intimacy of subjectivity in terms of (...) an originary relation to the outside or the other, I seek to problematize the possibility both of the portrait and the self that is its subject. (shrink)
“Ockham never wrote a commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics,” Jenny Pelletier tells us at the beginning of this monograph, “but the absence of such a commentary does not allow us to infer that he was uninterested in or skeptical of metaphysics” (1–2). Her central contention is that Ockham had a robust conception of metaphysics as a distinct branch of scientific knowledge concerning being and God. It is an argument worth making insofar as many scholars in recent years have held that (...) Ockham lacks a metaphysics or rejects the possibility of one. In opposing these claims, Pelletier also has much to say about what Ockham’s metaphysics includes and how it relates to other sciences. As the study of being, it considers .. (shrink)
In contrast to [Susan] Sontag, who used the tools of literary criticism to evaluate sexually explicit fiction, I will use the conventions of pornography to interpret a dramatic monologue in which an expected sexual encounter fails to take place. In analyzing Rossetti’s “Jenny,” I will employ an interpretive model based on the work of [Steven] Marcus, [Susan] Griffin, and [Andrea] Dworkin. Despite different assumptions about sexuality—Marcus is a Freudian, Griffin believes in a mystical eros residing in the psyche and (...) waiting to be rediscovered, Dworkin regards heterosexuality as a construct for subjugating women and masking men’s homoerotic drive—they share several ideas applicable to “Jenny.” Although pornography features, and indeed perpetuates, various kinds of masculine power, especially the powers of money, class, and culture, it purports to be ahistorical in order to obscure its status as ideology. It depicts male sexuality as fear-laden aggression resulting in very little pleasure; thus it is not liberating on either a political or a personal basis. Pornography does not include “others.” Women are present only to be silenced, objectified, treated as screens on which a man projects his fantasies. Marcus, Griffin, and Dworkin are all concerned with what Suleiman calls “the representational or fantasmatic content” of pornography and “the political implications of that content.” The risks of emphasizing the representational—most especially, the denigration of language and style that result from Dworkin’s approach—can, as Suleiman says, be mitigated by careful attention to a particular text .In Rossetti’s poem, a young man attempts to purchase a night’s pleasure with a London prostitute named Jenny. After she thwarts his plans by falling asleep, he spends the night meditating about her beauty, speculating about her past, present, and future, and thinking about the causes of prostitution. Although Rossetti’s subject matter is consistent with the etymological definition of pornography as “writing about prostitutes,” he avoids the explicit depiction of sexual activity which has been the common element in most modern accounts of the genre. Indeed, the only physical contact between the narrator and Jenny occurs at daybreak when he places coins in her hair and gives her a parting kiss. Robin Sheets is associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. She has written on Thackeray, George Eliot, and other Victorian writers and is coauthor of The Woman Question: Society and Literature in Britain and American, 1837-1883. (shrink)
Abstract The Me as a socially constructed self presenting itself, is the subject of new conceptual interest. Discourse analysis is the preferred tool for analysis of the linguistic repertoires that we use to order the experience of our selves. But we also present ourselves visually, with some care. An attempt is made to apply a kind of discourse analysis to self?portraits by eminent photographers. Within the process of portraiture and the rules of the pose, professionals should be able to (...) present their true visions of themselves. Specific dilemmas are likely. While women have been the site of many contradictions in themselves as a sight, men in their images must be prepared to bear the castrating power of ?the look?. It might even be that in some romantic sense, there is the revelation of an authentic, spontaneous self. A set of ten examplars is interpreted, ranging from 1901 to 1986. The photographic evidence for men clearly shows situational self?characteristics in terms of the role of the photographer in the period. Although the women included are comparable in status, using the non?verbal interpretative models of Goffman and Wex, they rather demonstrate signs of the conventional submissive feminine identity. Such an analysis of visual discourse cannot decide on the degree of awareness in the presentations. Further the interpretations are as open to rational contradiction as other forms of discourse analysis. (shrink)
Portraits of patients served many clinical functions in eighteenth-century medic John Hunter's medical practice. As incarnations of medical skills and medical knowledge, they helped Hunter understand his patients’ problems. They could also bridge the physical absence of his patients, and so help him discuss cases at a distance with other members of the medical faculty. Moreover, portraits complemented text in his day-to-day practice; portraits were in no way an ancillary medium for Hunter, but rather a fundamental way (...) of working. Meanwhile, the role of Hunter's assistants as medically trained artists complicates typical historical models of patient–practitioner interactions, and affects how patients were objectified by modes of looking and by art. (shrink)
In Memories and Portraits, H. G. Callaway presents us with the memoir of a philosopher. I will, as readers of this review will hardly find surprising, be reviewing this book with two foci. First, I will address the merits of the work itself and, second, with an eye toward our shared interests in John Dewey, other pragmatists, and how the work incorporates or neglects pragmatism’s contributions to the themes Callaway discusses. However, in many ways this second task is auxiliary. (...) Callaway does not present us with a systematic text in philosophy, but rather a text that is a memoir about the author as much as it is about a philosopher, specifically, how the philosopher’s experiences have demonstrated the importance.. (shrink)
In Portraits of American Philosophy, eight of America’s most prominent philosophers offer autobiographical narratives that remind us that the life of a scholar is both a tale of personal struggle and an adventure in ideas.
In Memories and Portraits: Explorations in American Thought, H. G. Callaway embeds his distinctive contextualism and philosophical pluralism within strands of history and autobiography, spanning three continents. Starting in Philadelphia, and reflecting on the meaning of home in American thought, he offers a philosophically inspired narrative of travel and explorations, in Europe and Africa, illuminating central elements of American thought—partly out of diverse foreign and domestic reactions and fascinating cultural contrasts. -/- This book is of interest for the contemporary (...) interplay of analytic philosophy with American pragmatism and for those focused on the interaction of European and Anglo-American thought and society. In this book, the formalism of analytic philosophy encounters a logically articulate version of the contextualism implicit in the pragmatist tradition; and a deep and abiding interest in natural science is augmented by a more literary account of the social and cultural contexts of inquiry—encountered in many years of travel and life abroad. The final chapter, employing a methodological naturalism, brings the perspectives and lessons, from near and far, back home for renewed reflection. (shrink)
A major aim of the books in this series is to promote psychology's appreciation of the neglected giants in its history. The chapters document the significance of these early contributions, many of them made more than a century ago. Most of the chapters are revisions of invited addresses delivered at psychological conventions. Several of the authors are students, colleagues, or offspring of their pioneers and all of them are intrigued by the life and work of the psychologists about whom they (...) have written. All of the portraits are informal; on occasion, even humorous. Some are "impersonations"--telling stories in what were or might have been the pioneer's own words. This book provides source materials for teachers of undergraduate courses in psychology--particularly the history of psychology--who want to add a personal view in their lectures and offer interesting readings for their students. Each of the five volumes in this series contains different profiles thereby bringing more than 100 of the pioneers in psychology more vividly to life. (shrink)