AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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Polite Conversations: Philosophers Discuss the Arts

What follows is a guest post by Brandon Polite (Knox College).

In my YouTube series, Polite Conversations: Philosophers Discuss the Arts*, I interview philosophers about their work in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. We typically discuss a particular journal article or public philosophy piece (including some pieces from Aesthetics for Birds), diving into their views and exploring their implications for anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes. The aims of this series are twofold. The first is that I want to show off the cool and innovative work that’s happening in the field of aesthetics right now, both to the wider philosophical community and to the general public. There is some really amazing work being done in our field, and more people should know about it!

The second aim is pedagogical. Getting to see philosophers doing philosophy together can be a really eye-opening experience for students. To that end, these videos can be used as a way to deepen your students’ insights into a text you’ve assigned them to read, which is how I use them. Alternatively, one or more could be used in place of readings if, say, they’re too advanced for an introductory-level course. I have painstakingly edited the captions—including sometimes highlighting key terms and phrases—to make them accessible to those who want or need them. As teaching tools, the videos are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

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AFB’S TOP 50 TERMS OF ART

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Two and a half months ago, I started the Terms of Art series. Every weekday (minus a one-week intermission), I posted a key term from aesthetics and philosophy of art, which sometimes leaned more philosophical and other times more toward the art world and art criticism.

To select the Top 50, I used a mix of crowd-sourcing (thanks to everyone who helped with this!) and personal reflection. I thought about central concepts my students have wanted to know about or been confused about. I thought about terms I remember not understanding when I first started reading art criticism and artists’ statements. I also included terms that I have continued to be confused about in other areas of aesthetics and philosophy of art. So in many ways, this series has been as much for me as for any of you. (Also it’s a quarantine project, so really it has been a LOT for me. So much the better if you all got something out of it!)

You can browse through them all here. But a quick reference, I’m including below a list of what I guess are my Top 50 Terms of Art.

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AFB’S TERMS OF ART #50: THE DEATH OF THE AUTHOR

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here.

As lockdowns start to release us back into the world, this series is coming to a close. For the very last term of art, I thought it fitting to discuss a very popular but not super well understood term:

Terms of Art #50:
the death of the author

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AFB’S TERMS OF ART #49: HERMENEUTICS

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here.

Terms of Art #49:
hermeneutics

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AFB’S TERMS OF ART #48: INTERTEXTUALITY

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here.

Terms of Art #48:
intertextuality

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AFB’S TERMS OF ART #45: CULTURE INDUSTRY

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here.

Terms of Art #45:
culture industry

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