Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Towards a Gender Balanced Philosophy of Art Syllabus


***UPDATED 07/31. I encourage readers to continue to send suggestions.***

Lamarque & Olsen’s Aesthetics & The Philosophy of Art: The Analytic Tradition is arguably the best general anthology in Contemporary Anglo-American Aesthetics. Unfortunately, this anthology distinguishes itself yet another way by having only 2 of its 46 articles written by women (in fact, the very same woman as it turns out). A friend of mine teaching philosophy of art for the first time recently discovered this and asked me to suggest some articles written by women with which to supplement the anthology. I’ve copied the list I sent him below so that it might be a useful resource for others in similar situations. I welcome and actively encourage readers to suggest additions in the comments section at which point I’ll update the list accordingly. However, please note that my interest lies with maximizing the number of distinct female authors rather than the number of distinct female-authored works. 

Catherine Abell (2012). Art: What it is & Why  it Matters
Laurie Adams (1976). Van meegeren v. Vermeer (from Art on Trial: From Whistler to Rothko, ch. 4)
Sondra Bacharach & Deborah Tollefsen (2010). We Did It: From Mere Contributors to Coauthors
Christine Battersby (1991). Situating the Aesthetic: a Feminist Defense
Karol Berger (2000). A Theory of Art.
Peggy Zeglin Brand (1998). Disinterestedness and Political Art
Elisabeth Camp (2009). Two Varieties of Literary Imagination: Metaphor, Fiction, & Thought Experiments
Jinhee Choi (2003). All the Right Responses: Fiction Films and Warranted Emotions
Amy Coplan (2004). Empathic Engagement with Narrative Fictions
Mary Devereaux (1993). Protected Space: Politics, Censorship, and the Arts
Ellen Dissanayake (1992). Homo Aestheticus.
Anne Eaton (2012). Robust Immoralism
Marcia Eaton (1982). A Strange Kind of Sadness.
Susan Feagin (1983).The Pleasures of Tragedy
Cynthia Freeland (2007). Portraits in Painting and Photography
Stacie Friend (2008). Imagining Fact and Fiction
Tamar Gendler (2000). The Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance
Hannah Ginsborg (2006). Aesthetic Judgment and Perceptual Normativity
Lydia Goehr (1994). Political Music and the Politics of Music
Karen Gover  (2011). Artistic Freedom and Moral Rights in Contemporary Art
Karen Hanson (1990). Dressing Down Dressing Up: The Philosophic Fear of Fashion.
Louise Hanson (2013). The Reality of (Non-Aesthetic) Artistic Value
Hilde Hein (1996). What Is Public Art? Time, Place, and Meaning
Kathleen Higgins (1991). The Music of Our Lives.
Sherri Irvin (2005). Appropriation and Authorship in Contemporary Art
Amy Kind (2011). The Puzzle of Imaginative Desire
Carolyn Korsmeyer (1993). Pleasure: Reflections on Aesthetics & Feminism
Susanne Langer (1953). Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art
Shelia Lintott (2006).Toward Eco-Friendly Aesthetics
Béatrice Longuenesse (2006). Kant’s Leading Thread in the Analytic of the Beautiful
Catherine Lord (1977). A Kripkean Approach to the Identity of a Work of Art.
Anna Mahtani (2012). Imaginative Resistance without Conflict
Mary Mothersill (1984). Beauty Restored.
Marcia Muelder Eaton (1999). Kantian and Contextual Beauty
Martha Nussbaum (1990). Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature.
Linda Nochlin (1971). Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?
Anna Christina Ribeiro (2012). Aesthetic Attributions: The Case of Poetry
Jenefer Robinson (1994). The Expression and Arousal of Emotion in Music
Stephanie Ross (1998). A Century of Taste
Yuriko Saito (2001). Everyday Aesthetics
Barbara Savedoff (1989). The Art Object
Elaine Scarry (2001). On Beauty and Being Just.
Eva Schaper (1978). Fiction and the Suspension of Disbelief.
Elisabeth Schellekens (2007). The Aesthetic Value of Ideas
Sandra Shapshay (2012). Schopenhauer’s Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art
Anita Silvers (1990). Has Her(oine’s) Time Now Come?

Kathleen Stock (2009). Fantasy, Imagination, and Film
Amie Thomasson (2003). Fictional Characters and Literary Practices
Katherine Thomson-Jones (2005). Reconciling Cognitivism & Formalism in Aesthetics.
Sarah Worth (2004). Fictional Spaces.

4 thoughts on “Towards a Gender Balanced Philosophy of Art Syllabus

  1. That's a very helpful list, thank you!

    Some possible additional names:

    Laurie Adams (1976). “Van meegeren v. Vermeer” (from Art on Trial: From Whistler to Rothko, ch. 4)

    Christine Battersby (1991). “Situating the Aesthetic: a Feminist Defense”

    Peggy Zeglin Brand (1998). “Disinterestedness and Political Art”

    Mary Devereaux (1993). “Protected Space: Politics, Censorship, and the Arts”

    Hilde Hein (1996). “What Is Public Art? Time, Place, and Meaning”

    Carolyn Korsmeyer (1993), “Pleasure: Reflections on Aesthetics and Feminism”

    Marcia Muelder Eaton (1999). “Kantian and Contextual Beauty”

    Suzanne Langer (1953). “Expressiveness,” (from Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art, ch. 20)

    Linda Nochlin (1971). “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”

    Anita Silvers (1990). “Has Her(oine's) Time Now Come?”

    Barbara Savedoff (1989). “The Art Object”


  2. Anything by Mary Mothersill (and I second *Susanne* Langer); Béatrice Longuenesse's “Kant's Leading Thread in the Analytic of the Beautiful”; Hannah Ginsborg's “Aesthetic Judgment and Perceptual Normativity,” Inquiry 49 (5):403 – 437; lots of stuff by Stephanie Ross.


  3. This is a great list. I would say just about anything by Yuriko Saito, Sherri Irvin, or Jenefer Robinson. But as a more extensive list:

    Margaret Macdonald, “The Language of Fiction” (1954)
    Ruby Meager, “The Uniqueness of a Work of Art” (1958-9)
    Jeanne Wacker, “Particular Works of Art” (1960)
    Catherine Lord, “Aesthetic Unity” (1961)
    Isabel Hungerland, “The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts” (1962)
    Susan Sontag, “Against Interpretation” (1964)
    Ruby Meager, “Art and Beauty” (1974)
    Catherine Lord, “A Kripkean Approach to the Identity of a Work of Art” (1977)
    Eva Schaper, “Fiction and the Suspension of Disbelief” (1978)
    Marcia Eaton, “A Strange Kind of Sadness” (1982)
    Mary Mothersill, Beauty Restored (1984)
    Linda Nochlin, “Women, Art, and Power” (1988)
    Christine Battersby, Gender and Genius (1989)
    Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (1990)
    Karen Hanson, “Dressing Down Dressing Up: The Philosophic Fear of Fashion” (1990)
    Kathleen Higgins, The Music of Our Lives (1991)
    Ellen Dissanayake, Homo Aestheticus (1992)
    Jenefer Robinson and Stephanie Ross, “Women, Morality and Fiction” (1993)
    Hilde Hein, “Refining Feminist Theory: Lessons from Aesthetics” (1993)
    Lydia Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music (1994)
    Peggy Zeglin Brand, “Revising the Aesthetic-Nonaesthetic Distinction: The Aesthetic Value of Activist Art” (1995)
    Susan Feagin, “Feminist Art History and De Facto Significance” (1995)
    Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Les Célibataires de l’art: pour une esthétique sans mythes (1996)
    Carolyn Korsmeyer, “Taste as Sense and Sensibility” (1997)
    Yuriko Saito, “The Aesthetics of Unscenic Nature” (1998)
    Amie Thomasson, Fiction and Metaphysics (1999)
    Carolyn Korsmeyer, Making Sense of Taste (1999)
    Ellen Dissanayake, Art and Intimacy (2000)
    Karol Berger, A Theory of Art (2000)
    Anita Silver, “From the Crooked Timber of Humanity, Beautiful Things Can Be Made” (2000)
    Eva Kit Wah Man, “Female Bodily Aesthetics, Politics, and Feminine Ideals of Beauty in China” (2000)
    Marcia Muelder Eaton, Merit, Aesthetic and Ethical (2001)
    Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just (2001)
    Sheila Lintott, “Sublime Hunger: A Consideration of Eating Disorders Beyond Beauty” (2003)
    Carolyn Korsmeyer, Gender and Aesthetics (2004)
    Jenefer Robinson, Deeper than Reason: Emotion and Its Role in Literature, Music, and Art (2005)
    Sherri Irvin, “The Artist’s Sanction in Contemporary Art” (2005)
    Katherine Thomson-Jones, “Inseparable Insight: Reconciling Cognitivism and Formalism in Aesthetics” (2005)
    Amy Coplan, “Caring about Characters: Three Determinants of Emotional Engagement” (2006)
    Amie Thomasson, “Debates about the Ontology of Art: What Are We Doing Here?” (2006)
    Dominic Lopes, Sight and Sensibility (2006)
    Sherri Irvin, “Scratching an Itch” (2006)
    Catharine Abell, “Pictorial Realism” (2007)
    Stacie Friend, “The Pleasures of Documentary Tragedy” (2007)
    Anna Christina Ribeiro, “Intending to Repeat: A Definition of Poetry” (2007)
    Rachel Zuckert, Kant on Beauty and Biology: An Interpretation of the Critique of Judgment (2007)
    A. W. Eaton, “Feminist Philosophy of Art” (2008)
    Elisabeth Schellekens, “Meta-Aesthetics: Realism, Objectivism, Cognitivism” (2008)


  4. Just came across a really interesting potential addition. It's co-authored rather than single-authored, though.

    Johan de Smedt and Helen de Cruz (2011). “A Cognitive Approach to the Earliest Art”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s