Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

November 7, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds

Food of the People, by the People, for the People: Cooking as Public Art

What follows is a guest post by Andrea Baldini, Associate Professor of Aesthetics at Art Theory at Nanjing University, and Andrea Borghini, Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of Milan. In 2016, the American food magazine Bon Appétit named South Philly Barbacoa “One of the Best Restaurants in the Country.” First opened in 2014, this small and unassuming eatery quickly rose to national and international attention not only for the amazing quality of its barbacoa, consomé, marinated lamb tacos, and pancita, among others. For chef Cristina Martinez and her husband Benjamin Miller, who together run South Philly Barbacoa, cooking and dining are not only ways to delight one’s palate; they are also tools for speaking “to the larger immigrant experience whose labor is often exploited and forgotten.” Herself an undocumented immigrant who crossed the border from Mexico into the USA, Martinez turned a personal passion and talent for cooking into a political … Continue reading

October 12, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds

Rube Goldbergism, the Geodesic Mindset, and Instrumental Rationality

What follows is a guest post by Elijah Millgram. You can be effective but ridiculous, or effective but a very special sort of unbelievable. And that tells us that some of the most basic distinctions in the domain of practical rationality—that is, of the reasons we invoke when we decide what to do—are matters of aesthetic judgment. Most of us have seen various of Rube Goldberg’s once very popular drawings; here’s one of a “self-operating napkin” that involves a soup ladle, a parrot, a rocket, and a pendulum, among other components. And if you look around on the web, you’ll find one after another video homage to his work; this tribute, a construction that turns a page of your newspaper for you, deploys lit fuses, billiard balls, a vase, a smashed laptop, and an animal that I’m guessing is a hamster. Now, it was naturally the comics page on which, … Continue reading

August 15, 2013
by Aesthetics for Birds

How I Came to Be Interested in Interesting Things

What follows is a guest post by P.D. Magnus. He is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His research is primarily in the philosophy of science and secondarily all over the place. He is the co-editor New Waves in Philosophy of Science (Palgrave, 2010) and of author of Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards (Palgrave 2012). He blogs at Footnotes on Epicycles. Most importantly, P.D. was the TA for the Introduction to Philosophy course I took as a college freshmen and therefore personally responsible for all of my philosophical shortcomings (starting with the C+ I received in Introduction to Philosophy). A couple of years ago, I was at a conference on science and metaphysics. One of the other attendees finished a sentence with the caveat that he was only talking about science and, of course, that he had nothing to say about the ontology of art. He presupposed, … Continue reading