Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

AFB Fab Flock Five 2012 & 2013


Many of you may recall the previous discussion (here) about the near total absence in Philosophers’ Annual of articles dealing with issues in Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics. In response, many of you suggested AFB host its own annual recognition of outstanding papers in the field. Well, here you are.

A panel of nine judges were tasked with nominating what they thought to be particularly outstanding papers published in 2012 and 2013 (judges could not nominate their own work). From those nominations, five papers were selected for each year. I present to you…

The AFB Fab Flock Five
2012 & 2013!

Cartoon of Dechamp's Fountain with block text reading "Aesthetics for birds"

 The Fab Flock Five 2012

A.W. Eaton. Robust Immoralism. Journal Of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70: 281-292.

Stacie Friend. Fiction as Genre. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112: 179-209.

Robert Hopkins. Factive Pictorial Experience: What is Really Special about Photographs? Nous 46: 709-731.

Carolyn Korsmeyer. Touch and the Experience of the Genuine. British Journal of Aesthetics 52: 365-377.

Richard Moran. Kant, Proust, and the Appeal of Beauty. Critical Inquiry 38: 298-329.

The Fab Flock Five 2013

Fabian Dorsch. Non‐Inferentialism About Justification: The Case of Aesthetic Judgements. Philosophical Quarterly 63: 660-682.

Gabriel Greenberg. Beyond Resemblance. Philosophical Review 122: 215-287.

Louise Hanson. The Reality of (Non‐Aesthetic) Artistic Value. Philosophical Quarterly 63: 492-508.

Aaron Meskin, Mark Phelan, Margaret Moore, & Matthew Kieran. Mere Exposure to Bad Art. British Journal of Aesthetics 53: 139-164.

James Shelley. Hume and the Joint Verdict of True Judges. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 71: 145-153.


Fab Flock Five Judges

Catharine Abell (Manchester)
Susan Feagin (Temple)
James Harold (Mt. Holyoke)
Robert Hopkins (NYU)
Sherri Irvin (Oklahoma)
Jennifer Judkins (UCLA)
Christy Mag Uidhir (Houston)
Derek Matravers (Open University)
Aaron Meskin (Leeds)



  1. I was hoping to get a recommendation from somebody at this site. I am an English professor with some graduate training in philosophy. I work in part on the history of poetics and literary criticism–mainly classical through 17th century. I am looking for a good book to introduce me to contemporary work in aesthetics in the Anglophone tradition. I would prefer a compilation of actual essays or selections from actual books rather than a one-author introduction to the field. I know that there are several such books out there, but which one is the best for somebody with my background and interests? Any takers?

  2. I've found the *Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics* extremely useful (I'm also an English professor with graduate training in philosophy).

  3. Great. Thanks very much.

  4. I'll add my name to the invasion of people from English departments to say how cool and helpful I've found this set of recommendations…

    In particular, I found Stacie Friend's article fascinatingly relevant to my own interests, and in the interests of cross-disciplinary conversation I wanted to point out that it has a lot in common with Richard Walsh's recent-ish narratology work around his book The Rhetoric of Fictionality. Walsh argues that fictionality is established pretty much entirely by paratexts, which guide us to read their texts in fictive ways, whatever those turn out to be (he has some specific ideas). This gives his work a point of contact with Friend's suggestion that fiction is a genre because it's “a way of clarifying representations that guides appreciation” and that we should be defining genres not only by their internal qualities but by “how the whole work is embedded in a larger context, and specifically in certain practices of reading, writing, criticising, and so on…”.

    So, analytic aestheticians who like Friend's work, I recommend checking out some Walsh; either the book, or this article – – which gets at the fiction-by-paratext argument, as well as his idea of fictionality as a rhetorical resource rather than a generic classification (the point where he and Friend come into interesting but I think resolvable conflict).

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