Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism – Special Issue

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

From The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticisma special issue on Song, Songs and Singing.

Edited by Jeanette Bicknell and John Andrew Fisher

From the introduction:

The topic of song, songs, and singing extends across a vast number of art forms and genres back into prehistory. It stands astride the high-low art continuum, ranging from classical music to popular and folk music. Unlike other art forms that include both high and low genres (such as movies and novels), song and songs have always had multiple functions other than being objects of aesthetic appreciation. The uses of vocal music range from the sacred (sung as hymns as well as heard as masses, anthems, and so on), to communal (campfire songs and soccer fans’ chants), to ceremonial (Jerusalem sung at public events, Barber’s Agnus Dei performed at memorials), to music for entertainment and for dancing; unlike other art forms, songs and singing play a role in everyday life.

From the point of view of philosophy of music, instrumental and vocal music have performed an intricate pas de deux over the last three centuries. In the eighteenth century, purely instrumental musical works began to interest music theoreticians. By the nineteenth century, such works by the great composers largely supplanted vocal music as higher art in the minds of philosophically inclined thinkers. Undoubtedly, understanding the nature and metaphysics of autonomous instrumental musical works involves challenging philosophical issues. Yet it would be a mistake to regard this historical progression as charting a journey from attention to something that is not art (songs) toward something that is (sonatas). In reality, these are two broad types of music, each calling for philosophical attention.

Click here to read the special issue !

Interview: The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach

Aaron Meskin is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Leeds. He is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on aesthetics and other philosophical subjects. He was the first aesthetics editor for the online journal Philosophy Compass, and he co-edited Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007). He is a former Trustee of the American Society for Aesthetics and is Treasurer of the British Society of Aesthetics.

Roy T Cook is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota, a Resident Fellow of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, and an Associate Fellow of the Northern Institute of Philosophy (Aberdeen). He works in the philosophy of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, and the aesthetics of popular art. He blogs about comics at:  www.pencilpanelpage.wordpress.com

Philosopher’s Eye: Why did you two decide to edit The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach?

AM: I thought there was enough good Buywork out there being done on comics that someone could produce a good book on the subject matter. I like to work collaboratively, so when I met Roy it seemed like a good idea to work together. I suppose there’s also a sort of selfish reason–philosophy is about conversation and I wanted more conversation (and more interlocutors) on a topic I care about.

RTC: Aaron was nice enough to ask me – someone with no prior professional experience in aesthetics – to comment on a three-paper session on comics at an aesthetics conference. The volume was conceived over coffee at the same conference, based on the positive response to the papers and resulting discussion.

PE: What’s the central concern of the book, and why is it important?

AM & RTC: The book focuses on the aesthetic issues that are raised by the art form of comics. It is not philosophy ‘in’ or ‘through’ comics–the basic idea is Continue reading “Interview: The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach”

New Philosophy Compass Issue, August 2011

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is now available on Wiley Online Library

Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art
Ideal Observer Theories in Aesthetics (pages 513–522)
Stephanie Ross
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00416.x
Logic & Language
Proof Theory for Modal Logic (pages 523–538)
Sara Negri
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00418.x
Naturalistic Philosophy
The Instrumental Value of Explanations (pages 539–551)
Tania Lombrozo
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00413.x
Philosophy of Religion
Naturalistic Explanation for Religious Belief (pages 552–563)
David Leech and Aku Visala
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00414.x
Anselmian Theism (pages 564–571)
Yujin Nagasawa
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00415.x
Teaching & Learning Guide
Teaching & Learning Guide for: Logic and Divine Simplicity (pages 572–574)
Anders Kraal
Article first published online: 8 AUG 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00417.x

Art for Love’s Sake

Recent neurobiological research has shown that viewing art stimulates the brain in a way that mirrors the experience of romantic love. The study, conducted by Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroaesthetics at University College London, scanned and mapped the brains of participants who had been asked to look at a variety of paintings from such artists as Botticelli, Turner, Monet and Cezanne. It was found that experiencing art releases into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain a significant quantity of the neurotransmitter dopamine, a biochemical associated with love, happiness and sociability, as well as drug use and certain psychological disorders.

The result comes at an ideal time for the art world in Britain, which has felt itself to be targeted by the extensive cuts in public spending. The correlation between aesthetic experience and happiness gives extra leverage in justifying the arts according to standards of public interest, a justification which normally consists in pointing out the economic benefits of the revenue which art institutions can generate. Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Stephen Deuchar, director of the arts charity Art Fund, said:

I have always believed art matters profoundly so it is exciting to see some scientific evidence to support the view that life is enhanced by instantaneous contact with works of art

Professor Zeki’s work in neuroaesthetics also stands to be of high value to the philosophy of art. This latest link between art and love is just one of many discoveries made by Zeki which coincide almost seamlessly with what artists and theorist about art have said for centuries, perhaps even for thousands of years. Plato, in his dialogue The Symposium, recounts a speech in praise of Love (Eros) made by Socrates which describes a journey of ascent from sexual love, through aesthetic appreciation of the body, to a spiritual love of the soul, arriving finally at the contemplation of the Platonic Form of Beauty itself. Continue reading “Art for Love’s Sake”

New Philosophy Compass Issue, June 2011

The latest issue of Philosophy Compass is available on Wiley Online Library

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Aesthetics & Philosophy of Art:

Drawing the Line: Art Versus Pornography (pages 385–397)
Hans Maes

Chinese Comparative Philosophy:

Caring in Confucian Philosophy (pages 374–384)
Ann A. Pang-White

History of Philosophy:

Locke on Personal Identity (pages 398–407)
Shelley Weinberg

Legal & Political:

Constitutional Interpretation: Non-originalism (pages 408–420)
Mitchell N. Berman

Philosophy of Science:

Mechanistic Theories of Causality Part I (pages 421–432)
Jon Williamson

Mechanistic Theories of Causality Part II (pages 433–444)
Jon Williamson

Teaching & Learning Guide:

Teaching & Learning Guide for: Mechanistic Theories of Causality (pages 445–447)
Jon Williamson

Surrealism and Philosophy

With the Tate Galleries showcasing a pair of exhibitions dedicated to two of its most cherished exponents this summer, Surrealism is back. The truth is, it never went anywhere. Ever since it was unleashed by the influential French poet Guillaume Apollinaire – perhaps from somewhere deep in our collective unconscious – the term Surreal has paradoxically become a common part of our everyday language.

The wild geometries and rural Catalonian landscapes of the painter Joan Miró hang currently on the walls at the Tate Modern in London, and Tate Liverpool are expecting an abundance of bowler hats, blue skies and pipes imminently for their René Magritte exhibition in June. Ahead of these events, however, one blogger reminds us that far from originating with figures like Miró and Magritte, or even André Breton, author of the Surrealist Manifesto and self-styled leader of the Surrealist group, the ethos of the surreal had been in the air of the art world from as early as 1860. The French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau is highlighted as a particularly strong precursory example. (In fact, something of the surreal aesthetic occurs as far back as the mid-1500s, in the unique work of the Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo). Continue reading “Surrealism and Philosophy”

Free Nietzsche Virtual Issue

The European Journal of Philosophy is delighted to bring you this Virtual Issue on the theme of Nietzsche. Please click on the articles below to read for free, along with the introduction by Robert Pippin from the University of Chicago.

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.Introduction, Robert Pippin

Section One: Nietzsche and First Philosophy
Nietzsche’s Positivism, Nadeem J.Z. Hussein
Nietzsche’s Post-Positivism, Maudmarie Clark and David Dudrick
Nietzsche on Truth Illusion and Redemption, R. Lanier Anderson
Nietzsche’s Theory of Mind, Paul Katsafanas
Nietzsche and Amor Fati, Beatrice Han-Pile
Nietzsche’s Metaethics, Brian Leiter

Section Two: Nietzsche and the Philosophical Tradition
Nietzsche’s Critiques: The Kantian Foundations of His Thought, R. Kevin Hill
Nietzsche and the Transcendental Tradition, Tsarina Doyle
Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Death and Salvation, Julian Young
Nietzsche’s Illustration of the Art of Exegesis, Christopher Janaway

Section Three: Genealogy and Morality
Nietzsche, Revaluation and the Turn to Genealogy, David Owen
Nietzsche and Genealogy, Raymond Geuss
Nietzsche and Morality, Raymond Geuss
Nietzsche’s Minimalist Moral Psychology, Bernard Williams
The Second Treatise in the Genealogy of Morals: Nietzsche on the Origin of Bad Conscience, Mathias Risse
Nietzsche on Freedom, Robert Guay

Section Four: Nietzsche and Art
Nietzsche’s Metaphysics in The Birth of Tragedy, Beatrice Han-Pile
Nietzsche on Art and Freedom, Aaron Ridley
The Genealogy of Aesthetics, Dabney Townsend