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Nils-Hennes Stear
Uppsala University
  1.  85
    Imagining in Oppressive Contexts, or What’s Wrong with Blackface?Robin Zheng & Nils-Hennes Stear - 2023 - Ethics 133 (3):381-414.
    What is objectionable about “blacking up” or other comparable acts of imagining involving unethical attitudes? Can such imaginings be wrong, even if there are no harmful consequences and imaginers are not meant to apply these attitudes beyond the fiction? In this article, we argue that blackface—and imagining in general—can be ethically flawed in virtue of being oppressive, in virtue of either its content or what imaginers do with it, where both depend on how the imagined attitudes interact with the imagining’s (...)
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  2.  63
    Fatal Prescription.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (2):151-163.
    Ethicism is the most comprehensively defended answer to the question regarding whether ethical properties determine aesthetic properties in artworks. According to ethicism, aesthetically relevant ethical flaws in artworks count as aesthetic flaws and aesthetically relevant ethical merits count as aesthetic merits. In this paper, I argue that ethicism’s most significant argument, the Merited Response Argument suffers from an ambiguity that makes it either unsound or uninteresting. Specifically, the notion of an artwork’s ‘prescribing’ a response, central to MRA, is ambiguous between (...)
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  3. Sport, Make-Believe, and Volatile Attitudes.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):275-288.
    The outcomes of sports and competitive games excite intense emotions in many people, even when those same people acknowledge that those outcomes are of trifling importance. I call this incongruity between the judged importance of the outcome and the intense reactions it provokes the Puzzle of Sport. The puzzle can be usefully compared to another puzzle in aesthetics: the Paradox of Fiction, which asks how it is we become emotionally caught up with events and characters we know to be unreal. (...)
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  4.  72
    Imaginative and Fictionality Failure: A Normative Approach.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    If a work of literary fiction prescribes us to imagine that the Devil made a bet with God and transformed into a poodle, then that claim is true in the fiction and we imagine accordingly. Generally, we cooperate imaginatively with literary fictions, however bizarre, and the things authors write into their stories become true in the fiction. But for some claims, such as moral falsehoods, this seems not to be straightforwardly the case, which raises the question: Why not? The puzzles (...)
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  5.  80
    Meriting a Response: The Paradox of Seductive Artworks.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):465-482.
    According to what I call the Merit Principle, roughly, works of art that attempt to elicit unmerited responses fail on their own terms and are thereby aesthetically flawed. A horror film, for instance, that attempts to elicit fear towards something that is not scary is to that extent aesthetically flawed. The Merit Principle is not only intuitive, it is also endorsed in some form by Aristotle, David Hume, and numerous contemporary figures. In this paper, I show how the principle leads (...)
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  6. Sadomasochism as Make-Believe.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (2):21 - 38.
    In "Rethinking Sadomasochism," Patrick Hopkins challenges the "radical" feminist claim that sadomasochism is incompatible with feminism. He does so by appeal to the notion of "simulation." I argue that Hopkins's conclusions are generally right, but they cannot be inferred from his "simulation" argument. I replace Hopkins's "simulation" with Kendall Walton's more sophisticated theory of "make-believe." I use this theory to better argue that privately conducted sadomasochism is compatible with feminism.
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  7.  48
    Immoralism is Obviously True: Towards Progress on the Ethical Question.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (4):615-632.
    The Ethical Question asks whether ethical values in artworks determine their aesthetic value and, if so, how. I argue that the question is ambiguous between a direct and an indirect reading. I show how the indirect reading is philosophically uninteresting because it has an obvious answer: a view called ‘immoralism’. I also show how most of the significant figures in the relevant literature address the indirect form of the question anyway—needlessly, if I am right. Finally, I consider whether some version (...)
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  8.  40
    Autonomism.Nils-Hennes Stear - unknown
    This chapter examines autonomism. Autonomism is roughly the view that an artwork’s ethical properties do not bear on its aesthetic or artistic value. The author sketches some of the view’s history before describing various versions of it defended over the last quarter-century. These are divided into ‘radical’, ‘robust’, and ‘moderate’ forms of autonomism. The author considers the strengths and weaknesses of each. The author also devotes some space to the ‘interactionist’ views against which contemporary autonomism is typically opposed. In doing (...)
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  9.  46
    Aesthetic Sins of Commission and Omission.Nils-Hennes Stear - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A critical notice of Erich Hatala Matthes' 'Drawing the Line'.
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  10.  46
    Transparency and Egocentrism.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2021 - In Sonia Sedivy (ed.), Art, Representation, and Make-Believe: Essays on the Philosophy of Kendall L. Walton. New York, NY, USA: pp. 196-213.
    Kendall Walton argues that photographs are transparent; we literally see the things depicted in them, not just the depictions. This intriguing claim has endured numerous criticisms from those I call the ‘egocentrists’, according to whom seeing—literal seeing—requires the conveyance of egocentric information; to count as seeing something, a visual experience of that thing must impart some information, however spare, about its position relative to the viewer. Since photographs fail to convey such information, the egocentrists claim, Walton’s transparency thesis fails. This (...)
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  11.  16
    Problems to Appreciate: Aesthetics, Ethics, and the Imagination.Nils-Hennes Stear - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    What is aesthetic appreciation? What values is it concerned with? This dissertation consists of three distinct papers tackling problems related to these questions. Chapter One According to what I call the Merit Principle, roughly, works of art that attempt to elicit unmerited responses fail on their own terms and are thereby aesthetically flawed. In the first chapter, I show how the principle leads to paradox when applied to an undertheorized class of artworks I call “seductive artworks”, which invite an unmerited (...)
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  12. In Other Shoes: Music, Metaphor, Empathy, Existence. [REVIEW]Nils-Hennes Stear - 2017 - British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (4):443-447.
    © British Society of Aesthetics 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] Other Shoes is a companion to Kendall Walton’s other essay collection, Marvellous Images, published seven years earlier. But careful study reveals considerable coherence; Walton reprises the same motifs throughout, though with different combinations and inflections, the book’s reverse chronology revealing how some of these ideas developed. Moreover, every paper exhibits the same accessible, sometimes (...)
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  13. KIVY, PETER. De Gustibus: Arguing about Taste and Why We Do It. Oxford University Press, 2015, 192 pp., $50.00 cloth. [REVIEW]Nils-Hennes Stear - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (3):324-327.
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  14. Conversations on Art and Aesthetics. [REVIEW]Nils-Hennes Stear - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (3):339-341.
    Conversations on Art and Aesthetics MaesHans oup. 2017. pp. 336. £30.
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  15.  20
    Art and Belief. [REVIEW]Nils-Hennes Stear - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    Review of 'Art and Belief' edited by Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley, and Paul Noordhof.
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