Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

April 28, 2021
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Polite Conversations: Philosophers Discuss the Arts

A YouTube series features interviews with philosophers about their work in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Continue reading

September 9, 2020
by Matt Strohl
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Arguing About Art on the Internet, Part 1: Why We Do It, and Why It Often Goes Badly

What follows is a co-authored post by Brandon Polite and Matthew Strohl. It is the first piece in a two-part series. See part two here. The ascendancy of the internet has generated a wide range of difficult new questions for philosophers of aesthetics. Our concern in this piece is the way the internet has reshaped aesthetic discourse and has made aesthetic disagreement far more immediate and pervasive. Social media allows users to broadcast their evaluations of artworks to hundreds or thousands of followers any time of day and, as a result, has ushered in the Golden Age of Everyone Having an Opinion. We are specifically concerned with the general tendency of the internet to promote hostility in aesthetic discourse. Rampant hostility has emerged in a wide variety of contexts, ranging from large-scale fan movements to remake a poorly received season of a widely loved television series or a controversial entry … Continue reading

December 13, 2018
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Is This Really Art? Aesthetic Disagreement and Conceptual Negotiation

What follows is a guest post from Elizabeth Cantalamessa (University of Miami). Think about the endless debates over what, really, is art. We get it over the latest Star Wars movie, or over Richard Prince’s series of Instagram screenshots titled New Portraits, or the recent Banksy “art-world prank” where a print of Girl With a Balloon “self-shredded” upon its auction. Articles are written, exhibitions are curated, theories are proposed – but, if there’s no fact out there in the world that can settle the debates, why do people waste their time trying to get others to agree with them? It seems that we face a dilemma: either people are wasting their time trying to figure out what “really” makes something art – or there is some deep fact about these objects that would settle the debates if aestheticians and the like just do enough analysis and theory.