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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Art, Pleasure, Value: Reframing The Questions, Mohan Matthen Jan 2018

Art, Pleasure, Value: Reframing The Questions, Mohan Matthen

Philosophic Exchange

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 ...


Left-Libertarianism As A Promising Form Of Liberal Egalitarianism, Peter Vallentyne Jan 2009

Left-Libertarianism As A Promising Form Of Liberal Egalitarianism, Peter Vallentyne

Philosophic Exchange

Left libertarianism is a theory of justice that is committed to full self-ownership and to an egalitarian sharing of the value of natural resources. It is, I shall suggest, a promising way of capturing the liberal egalitarian values of liberty, security, equality, and prosperity.


Stories And The Meaning Of Life, John Martin Fischer Jan 2009

Stories And The Meaning Of Life, John Martin Fischer

Philosophic Exchange

This paper argues that the value of acting freely and responsibly is a species of the value of self-expression. When I act freely, I write a sentence in the story of my life, and this gives my life the shape of a narrative, which, in turn, gives my life a unique sort of meaning and value.


Atheism: Young Hegelian Style, Andrew Levine Jan 2009

Atheism: Young Hegelian Style, Andrew Levine

Philosophic Exchange

In the decade after the death of Hegel in 1833, a group of young philosophers sought to extend some of Hegel’s ideas to criticize contemporary thought and society. These were the so-called “Young Hegelians,” which included the young Karl Marx. With interest in Marx and Marxism on the wane, interest in the Young Hegelians has also subsided. That is unfortunate, since the Young Hegelians have much to teach us. This paper recounts the Young Hegelians’ critique of religion, beginning with that of Ludwig Feuerbach in his seminal work, The Essence of Christianity.


Socrates And Plato On Poetry, Nicholas D. Smith Oct 2007

Socrates And Plato On Poetry, Nicholas D. Smith

Philosophic Exchange

This paper contrasts Socrates’ attitude towards poetry in the early dialogues with the sharply critical view of poetry expressed in Plato’s Republic. The difference between these two views constitutes further evidence for a developmentalist interpretation of Plato.


Dangerous Beauties, Marcia Muelder Eaton Jan 2000

Dangerous Beauties, Marcia Muelder Eaton

Philosophic Exchange

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.”


On The Banality Of Literary Truths, Peter Kivy Jan 1997

On The Banality Of Literary Truths, Peter Kivy

Philosophic Exchange

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.


Science And Art: Heuristic And Aesthetic Dimensions Of Scientific Discovery, Max W. Wartofsky Jan 1994

Science And Art: Heuristic And Aesthetic Dimensions Of Scientific Discovery, Max W. Wartofsky

Philosophic Exchange

A familiar thesis in the philosophy of science is that considerations of form play a heuristic role in scientific discovery, and that these formal considerations may be characterized as aesthetic. The purpose of this paper is to understand what this claim comes to, and to explore the question of why aesthetic form does indeed play such a powerful heuristic role in scientific thought.


Aesthetics And The End Of Civilization, Francis Sparshott Jan 1994

Aesthetics And The End Of Civilization, Francis Sparshott

Philosophic Exchange

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 ...


Make-Believe And Its Role In Pictorial Representation And The Acquisition Of Knowledge, Kendall L. Walton Jan 1992

Make-Believe And Its Role In Pictorial Representation And The Acquisition Of Knowledge, Kendall L. Walton

Philosophic Exchange

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, Noel Carroll Jan 1992

Mass Art, High Art, And The Avant-Garde: A Response To David Novitz, Noel Carroll

Philosophic Exchange

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, David Novitz Jan 1992

Noel Carroll’S Theory Of Mass Art, David Novitz

Philosophic Exchange

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.


The Nature Of Mass Art, Noel Carroll Jan 1992

The Nature Of Mass Art, Noel Carroll

Philosophic Exchange

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, Guy Sircello Jan 1990

Towards A Critique Of Contemporary Aesthetics, Guy Sircello

Philosophic Exchange

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.


Where Is The Woman In Feminist Theory? The Case Of Aesthetics, Hilde Hein Jan 1990

Where Is The Woman In Feminist Theory? The Case Of Aesthetics, Hilde Hein

Philosophic Exchange

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.


Predictability And Explanation In The Social Sciences, Alasdair Macintyre Jan 1972

Predictability And Explanation In The Social Sciences, Alasdair Macintyre

Philosophic Exchange

Scientific explanation requires a certain type of predictability. The particulars that are studied by the social sciences do not possess that kind of predictability. Therefore the aspiration to construct scientific explanations in the social sciences is bound to fail.


A Response To Macintyre, Charles Taylor Jan 1972

A Response To Macintyre, Charles Taylor

Philosophic Exchange

I agree with a great deal of Professor Macintyre’s paper. However, his argument can be formulated without any appeal to unpredictability. The unpredictability of many human events is due to the role of self-interpretation in the constitution of those very same events.


Do Social Events Defy Scientific Prediction?, Paula G. Morrison Jan 1972

Do Social Events Defy Scientific Prediction?, Paula G. Morrison

Philosophic Exchange

If Professor Macintyre is correct, then there is not, and cannot be, any such thing as a scientific explanation or prediction of anything social, and hence there can never be any social science. This paper responds to Professor Macintyre’s argument, and rejects his position.


Linguistic Relativity: A Response To Professor Dewart, Henry Lee Smith, Jr. Jan 1972

Linguistic Relativity: A Response To Professor Dewart, Henry Lee Smith, Jr.

Philosophic Exchange

Language defines our experience. We receive impressions of the world through the distorting lenses of our linguistic systems, and we also project relationships that are not already there in the world. Thus, it is true that we can gain new insight into science and religion if we attend to our language. We can even hope for a future integration of the two.


Language And Religion, Leslie Dewart Jan 1972

Language And Religion, Leslie Dewart

Philosophic Exchange

Throughout much of the history of western philosophy, philosophers have assumed that speech is an outward sign of an inner, mental experience. However, in recent times, this assumption has been replaced by a growing realization that language plays a more active role in shaping our experience of reality. This realization opens up the possibility of a resolution of the apparent conflict between science and religion, through a transformation of the language that we use in relating to reality.


Comment On Dewart's Language And Religion, John Catan Jan 1972

Comment On Dewart's Language And Religion, John Catan

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Dewart’s thesis is every bit as much a metaphysical view as the one that he opposes. It is also unfalsifiable.


Objectivity And The Transactional Theory Of Perception, Eugene Freeman Jan 1972

Objectivity And The Transactional Theory Of Perception, Eugene Freeman

Philosophic Exchange

The visual demonstrations of Professor Adelbert Ames support the transactional theory of perception. This theory asserts that the very contents of our sense experiences are shaped by our past experiences, as well as our expectations of future experiences. This theory, in turn, supports a critical realism about the relationship between perception and reality.


Rejoiner To Professor Freeman, Harold Greenstein Jan 1972

Rejoiner To Professor Freeman, Harold Greenstein

Philosophic Exchange

I agree with Professor Freeman that critical realism is the right solution to the problem concerning the relationship between perception and reality. I also agree that critical realism is a metaphysical theory in certain respects. However, I disagree with his assertion that critical realism can be affirmed only as an article of metaphysical faith. Any claim to prove something is an empirical claim, and it can be tested like any other empirical claim.


A Psychologist's Response To Philosophical Analysis: Comments On Freeman's "Objectivity And The Transactional Theory Of Perception, M. S. Lindauer Jan 1972

A Psychologist's Response To Philosophical Analysis: Comments On Freeman's "Objectivity And The Transactional Theory Of Perception, M. S. Lindauer

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Freeman’s treatment of the psychological aspects of perception reflects a general problem which typifies most philosophical discussions of psychological topics, namely, the absence of sufficient attention to psychological details.


Records And The Man, Paul Weiss Jan 1972

Records And The Man, Paul Weiss

Philosophic Exchange

Athletic records are cherished because of their assumed impartiality and objectivity. However, athletic records do not fully and accurately describe the events that they purport to describe. That is because athletic records do not take account of the myriad factors that influence the outcome of any athletic event. Contingency, novelty, luck, obstacles and opportunities all make a difference to what is achieved. Since records abstract from all of these, they do not tell us what did occur, but only the outcome of a multitude of factors of which we take no notice. The singular goal of an athlete is to ...


On Weiss On Records, Athletic Activity, And The Athlete, Richard Schacht Jan 1972

On Weiss On Records, Athletic Activity, And The Athlete, Richard Schacht

Philosophic Exchange

Professor Weiss and I agree in denying that the end or goal of athletic activity can be adequately characterized in terms of setting records. However, we seem to disagree about the fundamental nature and goal of athletic activity. Professor Weiss’s athlete strikes me as a kind of fanatic, whose athletic activity excludes other goals and projects. By contrast, I would argue that the goal of athletic activity is the intrinsic enjoyment that one may derive from it, and this goal is perfectly compatible with having many other goals and projects in life.


On Weiss On Records And On The Significance Of Athletic Records, Warren Fraleigh Jan 1972

On Weiss On Records And On The Significance Of Athletic Records, Warren Fraleigh

Philosophic Exchange

Athletic records cannot provide complete insight into the nature of an athletic event. However, certainly they can provide at least some approximation of what happened, and that is enough to justify the significant interest that we take in athletic records.


Ontological Possibilties: Sport As Play, Scott Kretchmar Jan 1972

Ontological Possibilties: Sport As Play, Scott Kretchmar

Philosophic Exchange

It is often thought that sport is highly incompatible with play, since the competitiveness of sport requires a degree of seriousness and commitment that are at odds with the freedom of play. However, this paper will argue that the competitive fullness of sport is compatible with play, even if not perfectly coextensive with it.


Locating Consent And Dissent In American Religion: A Comment, Charles Y. Glock Jan 1972

Locating Consent And Dissent In American Religion: A Comment, Charles Y. Glock

Philosophic Exchange

I agree with Professor Marty that denominational religion has on balance contributed more to maintaining social stability than to fostering social change in American history. However, I believe that this is because religion has offered direct ideological support for the status quo. It has done this by providing compensations for those who are ill served by existing social arrangements.


The Athletic Contest As A "Tragic" Form Of Art, Francis Keenan Jan 1972

The Athletic Contest As A "Tragic" Form Of Art, Francis Keenan

Philosophic Exchange

Aristotle’s model of tragedy in his Poetics emphasizes process over outcome. This paper will apply that model to athletic contests. It will be argued that the win-lose approach is not the only viable method for judging excellence in athletics. Tragedy affords another kind of meaning for an athletic contest.