• Aesthetics and the End of Civilization

      Sparshott, Francis (1994-01-01)
      Aesthetics has traditionally concentrated heavily on the narrow range of aesthetic practice identified as the fine arts, and on the supreme achievements in those arts. This paper argues that this is because the very idea of fine arts is bound up with the phenomenon of empire. An empire is any situation in which a number of socio-cultural units are bound together in an administrative unity. In such a situation, there emerges a system of educational and cultural centralization that articulates the actual social functioning of the empire. In this situation, high art is the art that is integral to this educational system.
    • Art, Pleasure, Value: Reframing the Questions

      Matthen, Mohan; University of Toronto (2018-01-01)
      In this essay, I’ll argue, first, that an art object's aesthetic value (or merit) depends not just on its intrinsic properties, but on the response it evokes from a consumer who shares the producer's cultural background. My question is: what is the role of culture in relation to this response? I offer a new account of aesthetic pleasure that answers this question. On this account, aesthetic pleasure is not just a “feeling” or “sensation” that results from engaging with a work of art. It is rather a mental state that facilitates engagement with an artwork, and (in the long run) enables a consumer to learn how to maximize this kind of pleasure. This is where culture comes in. If you belong to a culture, you know how to engage pleasurably with an artwork that is produced so you can engage with it in just this way. The aesthetic value of an artwork is that it plays into such a culture-pleasure nexus.
    • Dangerous Beauties

      Muelder Eaton, Marcia; University of Minnesota (2000-01-01)
      In this paper I argue that many sound ecological practices have a chance of success only if we follow sound aesthetic practices. If we want to produce and maintain sustainable landscapes, we must work to connect aesthetic preferences to what is ecologically sound. We must work against what I shall call “dangerous beauties.”
    • Make-Believe and Its Role in Pictorial Representation and the Acquisition of Knowledge

      Walton, Kendall L.; University of Michigan (1992-01-01)
      Pictures are not merely imitations of visual forms, nor are they merely signs that signify or stand for things of the kind they represent. Pictures, like hobby horses, are props in games of make-believe in which people participate visually, and also psychologically.
    • Mass Art, High Art, and the Avant-Garde: A Response to David Novitz

      Carroll, Noel; University of Wisconsin, Madison (1992-01-01)
      David Novitz proposes several alleged counterexamples to my theory of mass art. This paper responds to these alleged counterexamples.
    • Noel Carroll’s Theory of Mass Art

      Novitz, David; University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (1992-01-01)
      There is much in Noell Carroll’s article, “The Nature of Mass Art,” that is timely and helpful. However, this paper will focus on what is wrong with the theory that Carroll presents in that paper.
    • On Sparshott’s ‘Vision and Dream in the Cinema’

      Glickman, Jack; The College at Brockport (1971-01-01)
      I agree with much of Professor Sparshott’s argument. I would add that when film is not taken as a recording of events that occurred, it is taken as a recording of events that were contrived; and that it is taken as a recording entails that no film is taken as present time. When we are caught up in viewing a film, we are primarily concerned with the story. Our fundamental concern is not with the film’s space and time, but with certain characters in human situations. Our main concern is with human experience.
    • On the Banality of Literary Truths

      Kivy, Peter; Rutgers University (1997-01-01)
      The propositional theory of literary truth says that the purpose of literary works is to express propositions. One objection to this theory is that the propositions that can be extracted from literary works are too banal to constitute the purpose of those works. This paper defends the propositional theory against this objection.
    • The Conventions of Film: A Response to Professor Sparshott

      Rabkin, Gerald; Rutgers University (1971-01-01)
      The difficulty with judging Professor Sparshott’s analogy between our dream experience and the experience in film lies in the extreme subjectivity of our dream experience. Perhaps an entire film seems dreamlike, but the judgment tends to be intensely subjective.
    • The Nature of Mass Art

      Carroll, Noel; University of Wisconsin, Madison (1992-01-01)
      The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual analysis of the notion of mass art. That is, my aim is to produce a philosophical theory that isolates the common structural and functional features that enable us to group assorted films, TV programs, photography, ads, songs and so on under the single rubric of mass art.
    • Towards a Critique of Contemporary Aesthetics

      Sircello, Guy (1990-01-01)
      This paper distinguishes two sub-fields of aesthetics: the study of a certain kind of experience, which is “aesthetics” proper, and the philosophy of art. The last fifty years have seen a turn away from aesthetics proper, in favor of the second sub-field, the philosophy of art. This paper argues against that trajectory, and in favor of aesthetics proper.
    • Vision and Dream in the Cinema

      Sparshott, F. E.; Victoria College, University of Toronto (1971-01-01)
      There are many ways in which filmgoing is like dreaming. The space and time of the film experience are distorted and illusory. For instance, one has the sense of being spatially present on the filmed scene. However, if we really accepted a change in the camera viewpoint as a change in our own position, rapid intercutting between different viewpoints would be intolerable. This suggests that in film our sense of space is somehow bracketed or held in suspense. Likewise, we take what we see in the film to be happening in the present, yet we tolerate jumps backward and forward in time. On reflection, these peculiarities of the film experience are extremely odd. Our ability to enjoy them testifies to the mind’s tendency to smooth things over, interpreting whatever confronts it in terms of the simplest pattern.
    • Where is the Woman in Feminist Theory? The Case of Aesthetics

      Hein, Hilde (1990-01-01)
      This paper argues that feminism, as a theory, is a pattern of thinking that is not fundamentally about women, although it begins with a gendered perspective. It is, rather, an alternative way of theorizing about a host of topics that include but are not limited to women.