AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Elisa Caldarola on becoming an analytic aesthetician

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Elisa Caldarola, an Italian philosopher working in analytic aesthetics, has written an illuminating piece for cheFare about her education and academic career so far. Her story starts:

I earned a philosophy degree in my native country, Italy. I enrolled, at eighteen, because I wanted to understand art through philosophy. I had this idea that art could give meaning to life and that philosophy could explain how this is.

And then she fell down the rabbit hole of contemporary analytic philosophy to try to answer this question.

[A]t Oxford I finally realized that there were some intermediate stops I couldn’t bypass: I had to turn myself into an analytic philosopher and, concomitantly, into one who thinks in English and writes in English, because that was the language of analytic philosophy. So my question about art in general had turned into a question about how pictures work, which had brought to the question of how to turn myself into an analytic aesthetician and to the effort of appropriating the English language.

She goes on to draw attention to the significance of language barriers, as well as geographical, financial, and motivational hurdles that will sound familiar to many. She also talks about the pressure to do things on a certain schedule, pressures to present oneself in certain ways, and how all of these things intertwine with being a woman in philosophy.

Have a look and have a think. Comments welcome.

(h/t to Philosopher’s Cocoon)

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