Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

October 22, 2021
by utahphilosoraptor
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The Challenge Of Canceling: Comedy, Chappelle, And The Closer

If Chappelle’s art dines on controversy, cancellation serves it dessert. Continue reading

October 1, 2021
by Alex King
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The Performative Wokeness of Netflix’s The Chair

Netflix’s new comedy/drama gets some key things wrong about higher education, including its “sendup” of woke culture. Continue reading

December 17, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds
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8 Experts Reveal Their Top 5 TV Shows of the Decade

This year marks the end of the second decade of the 2000s. In honor of this, we thought we’d take a look back at our decade with an end-of-year series. The internet loves lists, especially year-end ones, and we’ll feed that love a little bit this December. We’ll be hosting seven lists of expert Decade-Best picks. We’ve done movies, games, and writing so far, and you can look forward to music, traditional visual arts, and one surprise list at the end. Our experts include philosophers and other academics whose work concerns these topics, and people working in the relevant media. Up today: TV shows! This decade, as everybody is well aware, has seen an immense boom in quality television. Niche programming and subscription streaming services, and the corresponding influx of money into TV production that has meant, have brought us into a new Golden Age of television. But it can … Continue reading

March 22, 2018
by Matt Strohl
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Netflix and Will

[Editor’s note: This piece was updated in September 2021.] Aesthetic weakness of will is usually thought of as an incongruity between one’s judgment about the quality of an artwork and one’s liking for it. If I think the Twilight movies are bad but I can’t help but like them, that’s supposed to be aesthetic weakness of will. But is liking really a matter of the will? I might be able to take actions meant to diminish my liking for Twilight: carry around a picture of Bella and Edward and look at it every time I feel nauseous, tell everyone I meet that I like Twilight to give them the opportunity to shame me, or deliberately watch the movies more often than I want to so that I become sick of them. If I judge that I should take these actions but then fail to follow through because I love Twilight too much, that sounds like weakness of will. … Continue reading

March 5, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Whispers of Power #15 Winner

Congratulations this week to Jennifer for her Rainer Maria Rilke quote! “Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.” [German: ” Vielleicht ist alles Schreckliche im tiefsten Grunde das Hilflose, das von uns Hilfe will.”] – Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet House of Cards, Season 4, Episode 13, 55:33 Title: Terror Description: “We do not fear terror. We are the terror.” The house of Claire and Frank Underwood appears to collapse, and then they utter these words. This climactic scene that ends the show’s fourth season, and we are left afraid and uncertain. A timely message given that, in today’s political climate, we are also left wondering whether there is anything past fear and uncertainty. Thanks again to all who contributed to make this a great series! We’ve had a lot of fun putting it out, and it’s been interesting to think through during this especially … Continue reading