In this paper we defend a direct reference theory of names. We maintain that the meaning of a name is its bearer. In the case of vacuous names, there is no bearer and they have no meaning. We develop a unified theory of names such that one theory applies to names whether they occur within or outside fiction. Hence, we apply our theory to sentences containing names within fiction, sentences about fiction or sentences making comparisons across fictions. We then defend (...) our theory against objections and compare our view to the views of Currie, Walton, and others. (shrink)
In many artworks, both aesthetic and ethical values are present, and both can contribute to the overall artistic value of a work. The question explored in this paper is: does the presence of one kind of value affect the degree of the other? For example, does a work that expresses a morally reprehensible attitude diminish the aesthetic value of a work? Let ‘interaction’ name the view that the presence of one kind of value affects the degree of the other. We (...) will argue in favour of the existence of interaction. However, we will argue further that such interaction is a contingent feature of artworks and that the most common argument that has been offered for interaction—the affective -response -argument—fails to identify the main reason why it holds, when it in fact does. (shrink)
What possesses aesthetic value? According to a broad view, it can be found almost anywhere. According to a narrower view, it is found primarily in art and is applied to other items by courtesy of sharing some of the properties that make artworks aesthetically valuable. In this paper I will defend the broad view in answering the question: how should we characterize aesthetic value and other aesthetic concepts? I will also criticize some alternative answers.
Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art is an essential introduction to some of the central topics and approaches being debated in contemporary aesthetics and philosophy of art. By taking a stand on each of the issues addressed and arguing for certain resolutions and against others, the text does not simply present a controversy in its current state of play, but instead helps to advance it toward a solution.
In his absorbing book Art as Performance, David Davies argues that artworks should be identified, not with artistic products such as paintings or novels, but instead with the artistic actions or processes that produced such items. Such a view had an earlier incarnation in Currie’s widely criticized “action type hypothesis”, but Davies argues that it is instead action tokens rather than types with which artworks should be identified. This rich and complex work repays the closest study in spite of some (...) basic objections to be raised concerning Davies’s central concept of an action token. (shrink)
Praised in its original edition for its up-to-date, rigorous presentation of current debates and for the clarity of its presentation, Robert Stecker's new edition of Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art preserves the major themes and conclusions of the original, while expanding its content, providing new features, and enhancing accessibility. Described as a "remarkably unified introduction to many contemporary debates in aesthetics and the philosophy of art," Stecker specializes in sympathetically laying bear the play of argument that emerges as competing (...) views on a topic engage each other. (shrink)
Can a moral defect be an artistic virtue? Can it make a positive contribution to artistic value? Further, if this can happen on occasion, does this imply that moral value has no systematic connection to artistic value since every conceivable relation between them is possible? The idea that moral defects can sometimes be artistic virtues has received a fair number of defenders recently and so has the anti-theoretical view that there is no systematic relation between artistic and moral value. But (...) I think immoralism—as the first of these views is called—is mistaken and I will try to show that no good reason has been offered to believe it. If immoralism is wrong, the anti-theoretical view at best devolves into moderate moralism—the idea that moral defects sometimes, but not always, are responsible for artistic defects. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
The paradox of fiction presents an inconsistent triad of propositions, all of which are purported to be plausible or difficult to abandon. Here is an instance of the paradox: (1) Sally pities Anna (where Anna is the character Anna Karenina). (2) To pity someone, one must believe that they exist and are suffering. (3) Sally does not believe that Anna exists. Here is the problem. The paradox was formulated during the heyday of the cognitive theory of the emotions when there (...) was a lot of theoretical commitment to (2) or a variant of it. But now virtually no one accepts (2). To solve the paradox, we just have to find a way to reject one of the inconsistent statements. It appears easy to reject (2). So why do even some of those who do reject (2) not leave matters there? I argue that there is still good reason to consider other solutions to the paradox. It is only by doing so that we fully understand the affective states with which we respond to fiction, in particular, the distinctive functional role that they have in this context. (shrink)
In "the art circle", dickie presents a revised institutional account of art. i argue: 1) if we consider the letter of the new account, it fails to distinguish works of art from many other artifacts; 2) if we consider its spirit, it is closer to the approach of those who claim art cannot be defined than to dickie's own earlier approach; 3) dickie fails to show that an institutional framework is a necessary condition for being a work of art.
_Interpretation and Construction_ examines the interpretation and products of intentional human behavior, focusing primarily on issues in art, law, and everyday speech. Focuses on artistic interpretation, but also includes extended discussion of interpretation of the law and everyday speech and communication. Written by one of the leading theorists of interpretation. Theoretical discussions are consistently centered around examples for ease of comprehension.
Introduces a more sophisticated functional definition of art Deals with some of the problems Beardsley had Old & New Aestheticism Aesthetic Communication notes on the Artworld Artistic value End of art?
In a recent essay, Jerrold Levinson defends his version of hypothetical intentionalism (HI), which is a theory of literary interpretation, from two criticisms. The first, argued by Stephen Davies, is that it is equivalent to the value-maximizing view. The second, argued by Robert Stecker, is that there are straightforward counterexamples to HI. We will argue that Levinson does not successfully fend off either criticism, and further, that in the process of attempting to do so, creates another dilemma for his view.