Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

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Ergo Launches 1st Issue

Ergo, an Open Access Journal of Philosophy published its first issue today.

The first issue includes four papers plus an editorial with the data about submissions and turnaround times. Managing Editors Jonathan Weisberg & Franz Huber (Toronto) have really done an outstanding job. It’s a shame that more philosophers of art didn’t submit something.
Also, as part of a multi-pronged coordinated philosophical strike, four blog posts have now appeared, one on each of the four papers in the first issue. Below are the links:

Julia Jorati (OSU) on a paper in early modern by Paul Lodge (Oxford):
Anna Mahtani (LSE) on a paper by Michael Caie (Pittsburgh):
Ellen Clark (Oxford) on a paper in philosophy of biology by
 Christopher Hitchcock (Caltech) and Joel Velasco (Texas Tech):
Thomas Nadelhoffer (Charleston) on a paper in experimental philosophy 
by John Turri (Waterloo):
Come on, Aestheticians! Ergo is not only swimming in prestige but more importantly cares enough to appoint two area editors for Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics (myself and Catharine Abell). How about you return that love with some kick-ass submissions.

[First 10 papers submitted receive a coupon good for one Revise-&-Resubmit
Just Kidding: Desk rejections for all!]



The following is a guest post by Anna Christina Ribeiro.

Stop and think for a moment about the things you have done and said, and the thoughts you have had today. Have you noticed the look of a newscaster on television, or the voice of one on the radio? When you got dressed this morning, did you consider the look of your clothes, how well they matched, or how well they reflected your style or your mood? Have you looked out the window and thought it was a nice day, or a dreary day? Have you listened to music? Watched a movie or TV show? How many times in the process of doing these things did you think ‘That is beautiful’ or ‘That is a great story but the protagonist could have done a better job’ or discussed your reactions to a song, a show, a film, a novel, an art exhibit, with friends? Do you sometimes have a pleasant feeling come over you when you look at someone’s face? When you look at a sunset? When you stop and stare at waves crashing one after another on a beach, and the vastness of the sea behind them? When you see the trees swishing to the breeze outside, and a feeling of peace fills you and you forget for a moment what you were doing? Did you imagine, as you read these lines, each of these scenes, and did you react similarly to each of them as you might have were you really experiencing those things? Now consider how you often stare in awe at a lightning storm, which as you know could easily kill you as it has killed many, and yet you take pleasure at the sight of it anyway—usually so long as you take yourself to be safely sheltered, but sometimes even when you know that you are not. Or when you read a novel whose subject is unpleasant, do you not yet relish the way the story is told, the way it engages your thoughts and feelings? When you read or hear a poem, do you ever notice how the words used, they way they sound together, engages you as much as the meaning of what is being said? Do you feel about some languages that you love or hate the way they sound, regardless of whether you understand the language? Is there someone whose voice you enjoy hearing even if what they are saying is not of great importance, or whose voice grates on you no matter how momentous what they say is, to the point of interfering with your paying attention to what they are telling you?

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Call for Papers: Philosophy Conference on Street Art

Call for Papers
Art in & of the Streets
Philosophy Conference
Date: March 5th – 7th, 2015
Location: New York City
Hosts: The Pratt Institute & New York University
Organizers: Christy Mag Uidhir (Houston), Nicholas Riggle (NYU), Gregg M. Horowitz (Pratt)
Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:
  • What is street art, and who is its proper audience?
  • How do the various forms of street art (graffiti, urban vinyl, poster art, street performance and installation) relate to their Fine-Art kin (painting, calligraphy, sculpture, fine-art prints, concert/theatre performance, performance/conceptual art)?
  • How does street art relate to other “post-museum” and “post-studio” art forms?
  • Is street art essentially site-specific? What are the implications for the restoration or conservation of works of street art?
  • Is there such a thing as a street art “aesthetic”? What constitutes authenticity in street art?
  • Does legality/criminality (e.g., vandalism, trespassing, copyright, etc.) play an aesthetic or art-making role for works of street art?
  • Do municipalities incur obligations (aesthetic or otherwise) to preserve works of street art?
  • How do matters of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. figure differently within the world of street art as compared to the traditional artworld?
  • What exactly is “the street” as employed in thought and talk about street art?
Papers should be roughly 3000 words and formatted for blind review. The deadline for all submissions is September 1st, 2014. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent by Nov. 1st, 2014.
Papers submitted by graduate students will be considered for a travel award—all graduate student submissions should be clearly marked as such. Papers, and any questions, should be sent to Christy Mag Uidhir (
This conference is funded through generous gifts from:
 The American Society for Aesthetics and The Pratt Institute.

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Conference on Evaluative Perception

Good News: Over the last 10 years or so there has been a noticeable increase in the number of truly outstanding conferences dedicated to issues either within Philosophical Aesthetics or at its various points of intersection with other philosophical subfields. 
Bad News: These conferences are increasingly, if not now almost exclusively, based in the UK or Continental Europe. As a result, US-based Aestheticians, at least those without obscene personal travel allowances, find themselves unable to do more than stare with aching longing at all the shiny conference programs filled with philosophical delights just out of reach.
Case in point: the upcoming three-day conference on Evaluative Perception at University of Glasgow (Sept. 15-18) featuring keynote talks from:
Robert Audi (Notre Dame)
Dominic Lopes (British Colombia)
Jack Lyons (Arkansas)
Sarah McGrath (Princeton)
Paul Noordhof (York)
Susanna Siegel (Harvard)
Kathleen Stock (Sussex)
Dustin Stokes (Utah)
Pekka Väyrynen (Leeds)

Conference details can be found here



by Christy Mag Uidhir

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

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. Continue reading

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[This post has been updated.]

What follows is an assessment of the professional state of Aesthetics with respect to faculty research at Leiter-ranked Programs in the United Kingdom. I counted only permanent faculty and so excluded visiting, emeritus, as well as affiliated faculty. Finally, faculty were counted according to two conditions which I’ve explained below (AOS, Primary). The full program/faculty list can be found at the link provided. Again, please inform me of any omissions or mistakes, as I no doubt made a few. Continue reading



What follows is an assessment of the professional status of Aesthetics/Philosophy of Art  in terms of the number of philosophy faculty at U.S. programs within the Leiter Top 50. At the end, I’ll make a few observations, but for the most part the numbers pretty much speak for themselves. My aim here is neither to offer some sort of de facto guide to graduate Aesthetics nor in any way to impugn the quality or availability of any program’s graduate instruction therein. Rather, my goal is simply to draw attention to the current state of Aesthetics with respect to faculty research at Leiter Top 50 U.S. Philosophy Programs. Continue reading