Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone



by Christy Mag Uidhir

***UPDATED 07/31/13. I encourage readers to continue to send suggestions.***
[minor update by Alex King in 2020]

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
  • Alia Al-Saji (2014). A Phenomenology of Hesitation: Interrupting Racialized Habits of Seeing
  • 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
  • Julianne Chung (2018). Moral Cultivation: Japanese Gardens, Personal Ideals, and Ecological Citizenship
  • 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
  • Keren Gorodeisky (2019). The Authority of Pleasure
  • 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
  • Alex King (2017). The Virtue of Subtlety and the Vice of a Heavy Hand
  • 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
  • Samantha Matherne (2014). Kant’s Expressive Theory of Music
  • Mary Mothersill (1984). Beauty Restored
  • Marcia Muelder Eaton (1999). Kantian and Contextual Beauty
  • Ariane Nomikos (2018). Place Matters
  • Martha Nussbaum (1990). Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature
  • Linda Nochlin (1971). Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?
  • Antonia Peacocke (forthcoming). How Literature Expands Your Imagination
  • Madeleine Ransom (2019). Frauds, Posers and Sheep: A Virtue Theoretic Solution to the Acquaintance Debate
  • 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
  • Elizabeth Scarbrough (2018). Visiting the Ruins of Detroit: Exploitation or Cultural Tourism?
  • 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?
  • Susan Sontag (1964). Notes on Camp
  • Kathleen Stock (2009). Fantasy, Imagination, and Film
  • Amie Thomasson (2003). Fictional Characters and Literary Practices
  • Katherine Thomson-Jones (2005). Reconciling Cognitivism & Formalism in Aesthetics
  • Mary Beth Willard (2016). Vandals or Visionaries? The Ethical Criticism of Street Art
  • Sarah Worth (2004). Fictional Spaces


  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

Required fields are marked *.