Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

June 28, 2018
by Nick Stang
1 Comment

Stanley Cavell (1926-2018)

Stanley Cavell died on Tuesday, June 19, at the age of 91. Obituaries and memorial notices can be found here, here, and here (a more complete list, including foreign-language sources, is here.) He was a prolific writer—the author of 17 books and countless essays—and  a famously stimulating teacher, but it would be impossible to convey in a short piece like this what made Cavell’s writing and teaching inimitable. Instead, I will limit myself to trying to explain a bit of what I think is so important about Cavell’s work in aesthetics.

October 28, 2013
by Aesthetics for Birds

Arthur Coleman Danto (1925-2013)

There are the good philosophers who contribute in productive and informative ways to the understanding of or debates surrounding significant issues within a certain field of philosophy. Then there are the truly great philosophers who single-handedly change the shape of the very field itself. Arthur Coleman Danto was without question among the latter. Not only did Danto lay the foundation for contemporary aesthetics [The Transfiguration of the Commonplace (1983) being his most seminal and groundbreaking work], but he also happened to be one of the most influential and significant art critics of the last three decades. To help put this into perspective, imagine that in addition to writing A Theory of Justice (1971), Rawls also spent the latter third of his life as Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.   While I’m saddened by Danto’s passing, I’m also so incredibly delighted and honored to be, in however small a fashion, … Continue reading