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 →

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 →

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 →

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