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.
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.
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)
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.
Philosophy of Art is a textbook for undergraduate students interested in the topic of philosophical aesthetics. It aims to introduce the techniques of analytic philosophy in addition to a selection of the major topics in this field of inquiry. These include 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 the book, abstract philosophical theories are illustrated by examples of both traditional (...) and contemporary art, thereby enriching the readers understanding of art theory as well as the appreciation of art. (shrink)
There seem to be at least two leading conceptions of art appreciation. The first, and by far the most popular, it seems to me, regards “appreciation” as a synonym for “approbation,” which itself can be a synonym for affection or even love. “To appreciate,” in this sense, is “to cherish.” This is the notion of appreciation that most plain speakers have in mind when they say things such as “I appreciate what you’ve done with your garden.” They mean “I like (...) what you’ve done with your garden.” Call this “appreciation-as-liking.” Although I’ve claimed that this is the popular construal of appreciation, it also possesses some estimable philosophical credentials. David Hume, for example, seems to hold a... (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)
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
James Shelley has raised the important question of whether it is possible to have aesthetic experiences of imperceptible artworks. This issue is important for determining whether or not the aesthetic theory of art can deal with certain cases of conceptual art. Shelley has argued that it is possible to have aesthetic experiences of imperceptibilia. And in this article, I concur with him, though for reasons different from his. Nevertheless, I go on to argue that this still fails to vindicate the (...) aesthetic theory of art. (shrink)