In this essay, then, I would like to address what I believe are the most compelling epistemic arguments against the notion that literature (and art more broadly) can function as an instrument of education and a source of knowledge.
Beyond Aesthetics brings together philosophical essays addressing art and related issues by one of the foremost philosophers of art at work today. Countering conventional aesthetic theories - those maintaining that authorial intention, art history, morality and emotional responses are irrelevant to the experience of art - Noël Carroll argues for a more pluralistic and commonsensical view in which all of these factors can play a legitimate role in our encounter with art works. Throughout, the book combines philosophical theorizing with illustrative (...) examples including works of high culture and the avant-garde, as well as works of popular culture, jokes, horror novels, and suspense films. (shrink)
In this article, “Narrative Closure,” a theory of the nature of narrative closure is developed. Narrative closure is identified as the phenomenological feeling of finality that is generated when all the questions saliently posed by the narrative are answered. The article also includes a discussion of the intelligibility of attributing questions to narratives as well as a discussion of the mechanisms that achieve this. The article concludes by addressing certain recent criticisms of the view of narrative expounded by this article.
Few today can escape exposure to mass art. Nevertheless, despite the fact that mass art provides the primary source of aesthetic experience for the majority of people, mass art is a topic that has been neglected by analytic philosophers of art. The Philosophy of Mass Art addresses that lacuna. It shows why philosophers have previously resisted and/or misunderstood mass art and it develops new frameworks for understanding mass art in relation to the emotions, morality, and ideology.
_Philosophy of Motion Pictures_ is a first-of-its-kind, bottom-up introduction to this bourgeoning field of study. Topics include film as art, medium specificity, defining motion pictures, representation, editing, narrative, emotion and evaluation. Clearly written and supported with a wealth of examples Explores characterizations of key elements of motion pictures –the shot, the sequence, the erotetic narrative, and its modes of affective address.
This article explores several views on the relation of humour, especially tendentious humour, to morality, including comic amoralism, comic ethicism, comic immoralism, and moderate comic moralism. The essay concludes by defending moderate comic moralism.
A selection of essays written by one of the leading critics of film over the last two decades, this volume examines theoretical aspects of film and television through penetrating analyses of such genres as soap opera, documentary, comedy, and such topics as 'sight gags', film metaphor, point-of-view editing, and movie music. Throughout, individual films are considered in depth. Carroll's essays, moreover, represent the cognitivist turn in film studies, containing in-depth criticism of existing approaches to film theory, and heralding a new (...) approach. (shrink)
_Philosophy of Art_ is a textbook for undergraduate students interested in the topic of philosophical aesthetics. It introduces the techniques of analytic philosophy as well as key topics such as the representational theory of art, formalism, neo-formalism, aesthetic theories of art, neo-Wittgensteinism, the Institutional Theory of Art. as well as historical approaches to the nature of art. Throughout, abstract philosophical theories are illustrated by examples of both traditional and contemporary art including frequent reference to the avant-garde in this way enriching (...) the readers understanding of art theory as well as the appreciation of art. Unique features of the textbook are: * chapter summaries * summaries of major theories of art and suggested analyses of the important categories used when talking and thinking of art * annotated suggested readings at the ends of chapters. Also available in this series: _Epistemology_ Pb: 0-415-13043-3: £12.99 _Ethics_ Pb: 0-415-15625-4: £11.99 _Metaphysics_ Pb: 0-415-14034-X: £12.99 _Philosophy of Mind_ Pb: 0-415-13060-3: £11.99 _Philosophy of Religion_ Pb: 0-415-13214-2: £12.99. (shrink)
Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having (...) their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those "paradoxes of the heart" that make us want to be horrified? (shrink)
In this article I divide theories of aesthetic experience into three sorts: the affectoriented approach, the axiologically oriented approach, and the content-oriented approach. I then go on to defend a version of the content-oriented approach.
Both my deflationary approach to aesthetic experience and what I call moderate moralism have been challenged recently in the pages of the British Journal of Aesthetics by Paisley Livingston, Robert Stecker, and George Dickie. In this essay, I attempt to deal with their objections while also trying to move the debate to new ground.
Humour is a universal feature of human life. In this Very Short Introduction Noel Carroll considers the nature and value of humour, from its leading theories and its relation to emotion and cognition, to ethical questions of its morality and its significance in shaping society.
Art, Emotion, and Ethics is a brilliant book with many important, useful, insightful, and even profound things to say about a range of topics including the relation of the imagination to art, understanding, and ethics, and the paradox of fiction, as well as sensitive and in-depth interpretations of masterpieces by the likes of Rembrandt and Nabokov. It is very convincing in its jousts with autonomists for people like me who favor the view that sometimes ethical blemishes are aesthetic blemishes and (...) sometimes ethical merits count as aesthetic merits. But that is because I am not an autonomist or even a moderate autonomist. (shrink)
Artworks are attentional engines, or artifacts intentionally designed to direct attention to formal features that are diagnostic for their artistically salient aesthetic, expressive, and semantic content. This is nowhere more true than the movies. Moving pictures are constructed from a suite of formal and narrative devices carefully developed to capture, hold, and direct our attention. These devices are tools for developing content by controlling the way information is presented throughout the duration of our engagement with a movie. In this respect (...) moving pictures are analogous to visual routines used to direct and bias attention in natural behavior - they are artifacts used to deliver information on the fly as it is needed for the development of the narrative. This article reviews some of the fundamental devices movie makers use to discharge this function - such as variable framing and criterial prefocusing – and discusses their relation to our underlying cognitive, affective, and neurological architecture. These formal devices are designed to guide and control salient aspects of viewers behavioral responses to mass market movies. Therefore, we argue that it is no surprise to discover that that they are fine tuned to the architecture of emotion, perception, and cognition. (shrink)
This article defends the content approach to aesthetic experience. It begins by sketching this approach to aesthetic experience. It then rehearses certain recent criticisms of the view by Alan Goldman and attempts to rebut them. One of those criticisms raises a long-standing concern about the author's account that has recently been called the “qua” problem. The article concludes by putting this issue to rest.