Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


Leiter Rankings of Aesthetics Grad Programs


From Leiter Reports, the 2016-2017 Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art grad program rankings.

Group 1 (1-5)

City University of New York Graduate Center
New York University
University of British Columbia
University of St Andrews/University of Stirling Joint Program
University of York

Group 2 (6-10)

Brown University
Columbia University (incl. Barnard)
University of Auckland
University of Leeds
University of Maryland, College Park

Group 3 (11-17)

Birkbeck College, University of London
McGill University
Princeton University
Stanford University
University of Manchester
University of Texas, Austin
University of Warwick

(Note:   Michigan was close to Group 3 [I think it was underrated in 2014, and should be at least in Group 2]; also take note of the programs not evaluated in 2014 but that were viewed as worth recommending by the Advisory Board”  Buffalo, Temple, Hull, Oklahoma & Southampton.  Stanford’s presence on the list is due primarily to a part-time visiting appointment of the distinguished philosopher of art, Kendall Walton–students should make sure that appointment is continuing.)

What say you, Readers? Agree? Disagree? Anything useful for curious, aspiring graduate students to know? (Besides that they probably would be unwise to put all their eggs in an aesthetic basket?)

Readers may also be interested in the ASA’s graduate study guide here. It doesn’t contain any ranking information, but does have a nice list of programs and their associated faculty who are interested in aesthetics. (Although I notice it doesn’t include *cough* my own institution…)

Image credit: Korry Benneth, numbers via Flickr

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Recent ASA & JAAC News

JAAC Book Review Editor Recruitment 

The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism invites applications for the position of Book Review Editor. The new editorial appointment begins February 1, 2018. The primary duty of the Book Review Editor is to commission book reviews for each of the quarterly issues of the Journal. The Journal publishes approximately 28-30 book reviews per year. The Book Review Editor has significant autonomy over the book review section of the Journal, selecting the books for review and then approving and editing the book reviews for each issue. The editor is expected to attend the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics in order to attend the Journal’s annual editorial board meeting.

For more information, please follow this link

Guide to Graduate Aesthetics in North America To Be Published

Preparation of the fourth edition of the Guide to Graduate Aesthetics in North America is underway, with publication on-line on the ASA web site expected in early summer. Publication was authorized by the ASA Board of Trustees last month.

Print surveys have been mailed to all department heads of departments offering an MA and/or PhD in North America, using lists provided by the Philosophy Documentation Center. Aestheticians who want to be sure their department is included in the new Guide should check with their department head to be sure the survey questionnaire is completed and returned by the March 31 deadline.

For more information, please follow this link

Marilynn Johnson awarded ASA Dissertation Fellowship

Marilynn H. Johnson, a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, has been awarded the ASA Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-17.

Her dissertation, “Meaning Through Things,” examines the nature of interpretation across diverse practices and modes of inquiry, including art, literature, the law, and archeology.

Ms. Johnson received her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in aesthetics and philosophy of language, with interests in logic, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of biology.

The ASA will award another Fellowship for 2017-18, with the application deadline January 1, 2017. Complete guidelines are here.

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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.

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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.

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