I ARGUE THAT WE RECEIVE PLEASURE FROM TRAGEDIES BECAUSE WE ARE PLEASED TO FIND OURSELVES RESPONDING IN AN UNPLEASANT WAY TO HUMAN SUFFERING AND INJUSTICE. THE PLEASURE IS THUS A METARESPONSE, AND REFLECTS FEELINGS WHICH ARE AT THE BASIS OF MORALITY. THIS HELPS EXPLAIN WHY TRAGEDY IS SUPPOSED TO BE A HIGHER ART FORM THAN COMEDY, AND PROVIDES A NEW WAY OF SEEING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MORALITY OF AN ARTWORK AND ITS VALUE.
This paper examines various claims by Noël Carroll about narrative closure and its relationship to narrative connections, which are, roughly, causal connections generously conceived to include necessary conditions for sufficient conditions for an effect. I propose supplementing the expanded notion of a cause with Michael Bratman’s notion of a psychological connection to account for the particular role that human agents play in narratives. A novel and a film are used as examples to illustrate how the concept of a psychological connection (...) eliminates the need for Carroll's condition that narratives must be globally forward-looking. (shrink)
The capacity of a work of fictional literature to elicit emotional responses is part of what is valuable about it, and having emotional responses is part of appreciating it. These claims are not very controversial; perhaps they are even common sense. But philosophy rushes in where common sense fears to tread, raising questions and looking for explanations.Are the emotions we have in appreciating fictional works of art, what I call art emotions, of the same sort as those which occur in (...) ‘real life’? Which emotions are appropriate to the work, and why: what justifies having one emotion rather than another? And why should we think emotionally responding to fiction is desirable, something which should be respected and encouraged, rather than looked at as a little weird or a waste of time? (shrink)
Can we ever claim to understand a work of art or be objective about it? Why have cultures thought it important to separate out a group of objects and call them art? What does aesthetics contribute to our understanding of the natural landscape? Are the concepts of art and the aesthetic elitist? Addressing these and other issues in aesthetics, this important new Oxford Reader includes articles by authors ranging from Aristotle and Xie-He to Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Michael Baxandall, and Susan Sontag. (...) It focuses on why art and a variety of aesthetics matter to us, and on how perceivers participate in and contribute to the experience of appreciating a work of art. With its multicultural and multidisciplinary scope, this volume shows how anthropology, art history, Chinese theories of painting, and other perspectives both enrich and provide alternatives to classic philosophical accounts of art and the aesthetic. (shrink)
Susan Feagin’s book offers a welcome redirection in the philosophical understanding of fictional literature as an art. In recent decades the appreciation of literature has been reduced by many theorists and critics to considering what literary works reveal about either the societies in which they were produced, moral life in general, or conflicts in class, race, and gender. On a more abstract plane, questions about the logic of interpretation have preoccupied many philosophical analysts.
This article critiques peter van inwagen's application of quinean ontology to the problem of whether fictional entities exist. It is argued that nothing is gained by considering fictional entities to be theoretical entities, And that van inwagen's claim that fictional entities 'hold' rather than 'have' certain properties does not avoid logical difficulties and is inconsistent with his commitment to quinean ontology.
My general topic is whether limitations in olfaction’s conceptual and generally mental capabilities hinder its suitability for playing significant and sophisticated roles in theatrical productions of the standard narrative type. This is a big question and I only scratch the surface here. I begin with a brief look at smell’s most prominent roles in the theatre, as illustration and to evoke mood and atmosphere. Next, I consider the relation between smell and the experience of space, looking first at a kind (...) of power it has that is sometimes overlooked. Third, I examine a conundrum about what the objects we smell, as opposed to the objects we see, do and do not represent in a theatrical performance. Finally, the conundrum leads into a deeper discussion of whether scents or the objects we smell do the representing in theatre. (shrink)
I argue that it is implausible to think that motives, As distinguished from intentions, Are relevant to literary criticism. The considerations leading to this conclusion offer some insights into the continuing debate over the relevance of artist's intentions to criticism. I also examine briefly why motives are not relevant to aesthetic judgments even though they are (plausibly) relevant to ethical ones. Some views of anscombe on intentions are discussed.
This collection of papers focuses on theories and practices in relation to the arts around the globe, in particular, those that have been ignored or marginalized by analytic or Anglo-American aesthetics and philosophy of art. The intention is to explain specific ways that the concepts of the aesthetic and of the arts might be enriched and enhanced. Indeed, in some cases the participation in artistic practices and the experience of art are deeply embedded in one’ s sense of self, in (...) moral action, and in how one negotiates one’s way through the world. (shrink)