Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

April 28, 2021
by Aesthetics for Birds
0 comments

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

April 21, 2020
by Alex King
0 comments

AFB’S TERMS OF ART #22: WORK/PIECE

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here. The theme this week is artworld stuff. Up today: Terms of Art #22: work/piece

April 6, 2020
by Alex King
0 comments

AFB’S TERMS OF ART #11: ONTOLOGY

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here. Terms of Art #11: ontology

February 13, 2020
by Aesthetics for Birds
0 comments

What is Art? Let Cognitive Science Help You Answer That Question

What follows is a guest post by Shen-yi Liao, Aaron Meskin, and Joshua Knobe. They offer an overview and summary of the ideas in their new paper, “Dual Character Art Concepts,” just out in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. (Non-paywalled version available here.) Alfie: This sculpture is not art. I know many people think it is art, but when you think about what art really is, you will realize that it is not art at all. Betty: Of course this is art. It is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art! Alfie: I know. But all the same, it’s not a true work of art. It’s impersonal factory-produced rubbish. Betty: Wait, I agree that this sculpture is completely awful in every way, but still, it’s obviously a piece of art.

April 29, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds
0 comments

Une Autre Dame: Why Notre-dame Didn’t Really Burn

What follows is a guest post by philosopher Saul Fisher, on the recent tragedy of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. The burning of the roof and spire of the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on April 15 was a moving and dramatic event, variously interpreted as architectural disaster, economic loss, flashpoint for myriad heritage issues, and moment of French national unity. The cathedral has endured since medieval times: construction began in 1163 CE, the towers were completed in 1250, and figurative elements were added in the mid-14th century. From this endurance alone, it is little wonder that the cathedral captures the imagination of the French, the devout, the appreciators of architectural history, and the every Parisian visitor. Little wonder, too, then, that the fire consuming the cathedral prompted strong emotional response. While lamenting the event’s tragic dimensions and symbolism, I find consolation, or perhaps refuge, in formalist and abstractist ways that … Continue reading

December 13, 2018
by Aesthetics for Birds
0 comments

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.