Three Constraints on the Philosophy of Art

by Daniel A. Kaufman _____ Preliminary Remarks After a brief hiatus in the last century, the search for a definition of ‘art’ has resumed with great vigour. Wittgensteinians may bemoan this as intellectual atavism, an anachronistic longing for “essences,” but I am inclined to think that the revival of the question of ‘art’ ’s definition... Continue Reading →

Four Lectures on danto

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The complete lecture notes and video for my unit on Danto, in my upper-division Aesthetics course, PHI 320. Danto 1 ____ In my view Danto’s Transfiguration of the Commonplace represents the most sophisticated, best effort to define ‘art’ in what I have called “the New Wave” in the Philosophy of... Continue Reading →

Three Lectures in Aesthetics

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Three lectures from this semester's upper-division course in Aesthetics [PHI 320] at Missouri State University.  My topics include: Formalism; Clive Bell; The Wittgenstein-inspired view that 'art' cannot be defined; Morris Weitz; Maurice Mandelbaum; Relational Definitions; and The Institutional Theory of Art. Following the video lecture links are the three sets... Continue Reading →

Art and Intention

by Carter Gillies We can stipulate that only things done with intention count as art, and surely many examples can be found where specific intentions lead specifically to art results. The question is whether all art necessarily relies on intention or even whether the intentions an artist has necessarily produce the end result of the... Continue Reading →

Theory and Practice

by Mark English ____ Disruptions to business as usual, such as we have been experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, inevitably raise questions regarding which activities are essential or important for a good or fulfilling life, and which may be happily dispensed with. Answers to such questions will, of course, often be very... Continue Reading →

Interpretation and the “Investigative” Concept of Criticism

by Daniel A. Kaufman **In light of my recent Course Notes on Danto's theory of interpretation, I thought readers might be interested in my own critique of his theory.  The following paper originally appeared in Angelaki, Volume 17, Issue 1, Page 3-12, March 2012** §1 My subject is the popular view in (mainly Analytic) philosophy... Continue Reading →

Course Notes: Arthur Danto on “Surface” and “Deep” Interpretation

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Before the coronavirus turned everything upside-down, the students in my upper-division Aesthetics course and I were working through Arthur Danto’s theory of interpretation, so as eventually to bring it into tension with Susan Sontag’s take in her famous essay, “Against Interpretation,” on which I wrote in the early days of... Continue Reading →

Value and Objectivity

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Recent exchanges with Robert Gressis and Spencer Case have led me to think a lot about obligation and objectivity.  My focus thus far has been on the question of force, and my main goal has been to show that accounting for it is not made easier – or facilitated in... Continue Reading →

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