Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

April 4, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds

Artistic Representations of Philosophical Thought

There’s a post over at the general interest philosophy blog Daily Nous that might be of interest to our readers. Susanna Berger, assistant professor of art history at the University of Southern California, has posted an excerpt adapted from her book, The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Europe from the Late Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment (Princeton University Press, 2017). From Berger: I show how their inventive iconography inspired new visualizations of thought in a range of drawn and printed sources, including student lecture notebooks, printed books, and alba amicorum (friendship albums). The book culminates with a new study of the celebrated frontispiece to Hobbes’s Leviathan. I argue that previous accounts of the print have failed to capture the full complexity of this etching and offer a new, if complex, account of this famous image—one which emphasizes the process of the state’s generation. Artists and philosophers invested significant amounts of … Continue reading

May 6, 2016
by Aesthetics for Birds

Bence Nanay Guest Vlog at Brains Blog

Bence Nanay has been guest vlogging at the Brains Blog. The topic this time: Mental imagery and aesthetics. He discusses “aesthetically relevant properties”: properties that make an aesthetic difference when attended to. Have a look. It’s the perfect length for watching over a short break from work! Mental Imagery and Aesthetics

May 7, 2014
by Aesthetics for Birds

The Snowman’s Imagination

What follows is a guest post by Amy Kind. Amy is Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College.  Having received an AB summa cum laude from Amherst College, Professor Kind received her PhD in philosophy from UCLA in 1997. Although she has broad interests in the philosophy of mind, most of her research centers on issues relating to phenomenal consciousness and issues relating to the imagination. Her work has appeared in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, and The Philosophical Quarterly. She is currently at work on several edited collections, including The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Imagination and Knowledge Through Imagination (co-edited with Peter Kung), which is under contract with Oxford University Press.   In recent decades, imagination has proved enormously important in philosophical discussions of aesthetics.  Not only does imagination seem to play a crucial role in the creation of works of art and literature, but it also seems to play a crucial role … Continue reading

October 1, 2013
by utahphilosoraptor

Imagination, Transportation, and Moral Persuasion

What follows is a guest post by M. B. Willard, a metaphysician with an aesthetics problem. She is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University. Imagine becoming adrift in a novel in the way often described by avid readers: You’ve become lost in the book. Perhaps you’ve become so engrossed that your coffee grows cold, neglected on the table beside you. Perhaps you’ve lost track of time, to be startled when the clock chimes. Perhaps the story is deeply sad, and you spend the rest of the day in a mild malaise. Perhaps the story’s protagonist struggled in abject poverty, and you come away believing that while of course the story is made up, people really do live like that, and you resolve to increase your annual contributions to charity. (Or perhaps you watched Star Trek; you spend the rest of the day mildly keyed up against injustice, and rebuke … Continue reading

September 21, 2013
by Aesthetics for Birds

Alief and Knowledge from Fiction

What follows is a guest post by Allan Hazlett. Allan is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, having worked previously for Texas Tech and Fordham Universities. He’s the author of A Luxury of the Understanding: On the Value of True Belief (Oxford University Press, 2013) and A Critical Introduction to Skepticism (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).  His research interests include the value of accurate representation, the value and nature of intellectual virtue, authenticity, testimony, knowledge attributions, and the cognitive value of fiction. Everyone, except for Plato, agrees that you can acquire knowledge through engagement with narrative fictions, including knowledge about things other than the form and content of the relevant fiction.  And there seem to be several species of knowledge from fiction.  Testimonial knowledge from fiction is acquired when a fiction makes a claim about the actual world, by exploiting (contextual and genre-relative) conversational assumptions about the similarity between the fictional world and the actual … Continue reading