Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

November 4, 2021
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Hi-Phi Nation’s Barry Lam on the Art of Podcasting

The philosopher and podcaster behind Hi-Phi Nation talks about his creative process, trends, and whether podcasts are really art. Continue reading

April 25, 2019
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An Experiment in Philosophy and Poetry

What follows is a guest post by philosopher Aaron Meskin. He discusses a book that he and poet Helen Mort recently co-authored. In it, Mort “replies” to a variety of different philosophers’ papers with original poems, and the philosophers get to reflect on the poem and its relationship to their work. This piece is also cross-posted at Daily Nous.

October 9, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Blade Runner: Catnip for Philosophers

Descartes and Deckard. “I think, therefore I am.” Sophisticated artificial intelligence. Real memories and implanted memories. Humanity and personhood (and androidhood?). Philosophers can’t resist the bait Blade Runner lays out for them.

October 6, 2017
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Adrian Piper at Moma

A philosopher and artist is getting lots of recognition lately, culminating in an upcoming solo show at MoMA. Adrian Piper, who received the Golden Lion from the Venice Biennale in 2015, has enjoyed several shows in the past couple of years, and will now have a major exhibition at MoMA, “Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions, 1965–2016” (March 31 to July 22, 2018), which will then travel to the Hammer Museum in LA (dates being finalized) before going abroad. From the MoMA press release: [T]he exhibition, which will be seen in its entirety only at The Museum of Modern Art, will occupy the Museum’s entire sixth floor—the first time that entire level has been devoted to the work of a living artist. Exciting! And the MoMA title isn’t just about her art. She has written about Kant’s notion of intuition. And indeed, this isn’t a case where “philosopher” is just … Continue reading

September 19, 2017
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Philosophical Fiction

Frances Howard-Snyder (Western Washington University) answers a few short questions about her philosophical fiction posed by Skye Cleary (City College New York) for the APA Blog. She recounts her experiences at a recent workshop on fiction writing for philosophers. I particularly liked the idea that fiction writers often deal with quasi-philosophical topics and when they do their treatment could benefit from the skills of philosophers. And, regarding how professional philosophers’ fiction writing should be treated by universities: If you [write fiction] well and your work has philosophical content, your department and university ought to treat it as part of your scholarship. See the whole interview here. This raises lots of interesting questions. Are there some philosophical topics that are better, or even best, approached through fiction? Can philosophical fiction advance philosophical research? And if so, are philosophers sometimes better positioned to do that than non-philosophers? What do you think?

April 4, 2017
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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

October 26, 2016
by rebeccavictoriamillsop
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Heidegger Meets Van Gogh: Art, Freedom, and Technology – Free Online IAI Course

About the Course Modern philosophers traditionally thought of science as the realm of truth and art as the realm of beauty. And with the industrial revolution, western societies followed suit. Technology became the driving force of history as art became a sphere of entertainment. In this two-part course, Philosopher Simon Glendinning challenges this conception by outlining Heidegger’s critique of technology whilst arguing that art is the path to freedom. You will learn about: Heidegger’s critique of modernity and the predominance of technology. The nature and history of scientific rationality. Heidegger’s reading of the work of Vincent Van Gogh. Art’s relationship to truth and freedom. Through video lectures, questions and suggested reading discover why art remains a true source of wisdom.  Share your ideas and support your learning through our discussion boards and test your knowledge through questions throughout the course. Requirements This course is designed for anyone interested in art, … Continue reading

July 3, 2014
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Philosopher-artist Interview: the Counterfactuals

Philosophers and Musicians “The Counterfactuals” interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir The Counterfactuals play an addictive brand of indie jangle-pop, with a signature blend of golden hooks, Americana, and a dose of grit. Their debut album, Minimally Decent People, was released in January 2014, and has been met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike. After hearing one demo, 89.3 FM The Current dubbed the band “must-hear music” and later featured their single “If you go then you go it alone” as their Song of the Day. The Counterfactuals are heading into the studio to record their second album this summer. You can read some of what people have said about the band at The Daily Album, The Current Local Blog, and Tropics of Meta. Andy Flory (bass) teaches course in American music at Carleton College. He has written extensively about American rhythm and blues and is an expert on the … Continue reading

January 2, 2014
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Interview with Philosopher-Poet Troy Jollimore

What follows is an interview with philosopher and poet Troy Jollimore. Troy is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico. He is the author of Love’s Vision (Princeton University Press, 2011) and On Loyalty (Routledge, 2012) as well as over a dozen articles in journals including Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and American Philosophical Quarterly. He is also the author of two collections of poetry: At Lake Scugog (2011) and Tom Thomson in Purgatory, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 2006. He is a former External Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center and is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow. Aesthetics for Birds recently featured an interview with poet and critic David Orr, author of Beautiful and Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry. Much of David’s work as a critic aims at demystifying poetry for a modern audience. Of course, philosophical enquiry can be said likewise to aim at the demystification of its … Continue reading