Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

September 28, 2016
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Spectators and Giants in Rousseau and Víctor Erice

What follows is a guest post by Byron Davies (Harvard). This column is on the 18th century Swiss Francophone philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the contemporary Spanish director Víctor Erice, especially the latter’s films The Spirit of the Beehive and El Sur. It is tempting to think that cinema somehow has a prehistory in philosophy. That is, among those philosophers who pre-date the invention of cinema, there are some whose very spirits seem to inform the medium itself, making their connections to particular films, even if only implicit, seem especially fated or necessary. Strikingly, these are often philosophers somehow opposed to theater and “theatricality,” and known for harshly depicting the effects of sitting isolated in the dark. (The well-worn comparisons between cinema and Plato’s Myth of the Cave come to mind.) Among such philosophers is surely Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an eighteenth-century philosopher who asked what it is to be spectator of, as well as a spectacle for, other persons. For … Continue reading

April 6, 2016
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Conference on Philosophy and Theater

April 22nd, 2016 at University of Mississippi: Occasioning Philosophy A celebration of philosophy and theater on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death The American Society for Aesthetics is pleased to award $3000 to support the conference, “Occasioning Philosophy: A Celebration of Philosophy and Theater on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death.” The conference will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016. The conference, hosted by the University of Mississippi, is co-sponsored by Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi. ASA member Kristin Boyce (Mississippi State University) is the co-organizer of the conference, with Donovan Wishon (Philosophy, University of Mississippi). The conference will include talks by Noel Carroll (CUNY Graduate Center), John Gibson (University of Louisville), Kristin Gjesdal (Temple University), James Hamilton (Kansas State University), and Paul Woodruff (University of Texas at Austin). Responses will be provided by Kristin Boyce, Eric Vivier (English, Mississippi State) and … Continue reading

December 12, 2014
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Philosopher-artist Interview: R.A. Briggs

Philosopher and Poet R.A. Briggs interviewed by Alex King R.A. Briggs is a philosopher and a poet. She has been a Research Fellow at the Australian National University and at Griffith University since 2012. She has published widely on issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and decision theory. Her poetry has also been published many venues, but you can get a lot of it in one place in her book, Free Logic, which won the 2012 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for emerging poets in Queensland and was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Award in the poetry category.