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1. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Nathan Hirscher, Rohan Srivastava Editors’ Introduction
2. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Paul C. Taylor, Ethan Harris An Interview with Paul C. Taylor
3. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Katherine Tullmann Aesthetic Courage and Phronesis
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This paper analyzes aesthetic courage, a virtue directed towards aesthetic objects when subjects are asked to confront content that is psychologically or socially risky. I examine aesthetic courage to explore how it plays a role in a virtue theoretic account of the good life. I contend that the virtue theoretic concept of phronesis, or practical wisdom, plays a strong role in guiding the virtuous agent to make decisions about the course of action that promotes her good life. The concept of phronesis in service of the good life acts as the foundation for my concept of aesthetic courage. I analyze several examples of aesthetic courage, including the controversy surrounding the contemplative garden at Stanford University in honor of Chanel Miller and other survivors of sexual assault.
4. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Andrea Lorenzo Baldini, Nathan Hirscher An Interview with Andrea Lorenzo Baldini
5. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Frank Boardman High-Cost Art
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Certain artworks are––whatever else they are––statements about the value of art. A particularly striking form of such a statement is made by a class of artworks we can call “high-cost art.” High-cost artworks are those with greater costs relative to benefits for their artists or displayers. I will argue here that those art forms that are most likely to include high-cost works are particularly effective at communicating artistic value-claims, and suggest that by so championing the value of art, these artworks themselves increase in artistic value.
6. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Tom Cochrane, Rohan Srivastava, Alexandra Crotty An Interview with Tom Cochrane
7. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Thomas Leddy Clive Bell’s "Metaphysical Hypothesis" and Everyday Aesthetics
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Clive Bell’s Art, published in 1913, is widely seen as a founding document in contemporary aesthetics. Yet his formalism and his attendant definition of art as “significant form” is widely rejected in contemporary art discourse and in the philosophy of art. In this paper I argue for a reconsideration of his thought in connection with current discussions of “the aesthetics of everyday life.” Although some, notably Allen Carlson, have argued against application of Bell’s formalism to the aesthetics of everyday life, I claim that this is based on an interpretation of the concept that is overly narrow. First, Li Zehou offers an interpretation of “significant form” that allows in sedimented social meaning. Second, Bell himself offers a more complex theory of significant form by way of his “metaphysical hypothesis,” one that stresses perception of significant form outside the realm of art (for example in nature or in everyday life). Bell’s idea that the artist can perceive significant form in nature allows for significant form to not just be the surface-level formal properties of things. It stresses depth, although a different kind than the cognitive scientific depth Carlson wants. This is a depth that is consistent with the anti-dualism of Spinoza, Marx and Dewey. Reinterpreting Bell in this direction, we can say we are moved by certain relations of lines and colors because they direct our minds to the hidden aspect of things, the spiritual side of the material world referred to by Spinoza and developed by Dewey in his concept of experience. Bell hardly “reduces the everyday to a shadow of itself,” as Carlson puts it, since the everyday, as experienced by the artist or the aesthetically astute observer, has, or potentially has, deep meaning. If we reject Bell’s dualism and his downgrading of sensuous experience, we can rework his idea of pure form to refer to an aspect of things detached, yes, from practical use, but not from particularity or sedimented meaning, not purified of all associations.
8. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Elizabeth Millán Brusslan, Lauren Bush, Ethan Harris An Interview with Elizabeth Millán Brusslan
9. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Casey Haskins The Evolution of Autonomy in Pragmatist Aesthetics
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Writers in pragmatist aesthetics tend, as naturalists, to avoid the originally Kantian-Idealist term “autonomy” when discussing art and aesthetic experience. Even so, a more general autonomy concept, emphasizing that art and the aesthetic comprise a normatively special aspect of experience, is already implicit in much of the pragmatist aesthetics literature, including in John Dewey’s seminal Art as Experience. As the cultural disciplines move beyond earlier modernist- and postmodernist-era debates about art’s total autonomy from or total “heteronomous” absorption within the processes of life, I argue that a more naturalistically down-to-earth version of the above general autonomy idea remains indispensable in a century of social, environmental, and existential crises whose solutions demand creative agency of a kind that artistically charged experiences can inspire. Drawing upon key pragmatist themes, I further develop the general autonomy idea by arguing that aesthetic experiences within and without the fine arts are horizontally transcendent; that art and the aesthetic answer a persistent human need for experiences that are intrinsically rewarding while also serving the instrumental function of being redemptive; that to this end, our global culture needs collectively accessible autonomous spaces within language and experience that can help people explore and interrogate the meanings of what we individually and collectively do; and that the value of our theoretical beliefs about the arts lies not in their power to represent a world supposedly independent of human thought and action but in what they lead us to do in the world. In conclusion, I illustrate this pragmatic interpretation of the general autonomy idea with a reading of Richard Powers’ novel The Overstory.
10. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
2021 Editorial Team
11. Washington University Review of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Anna Christina Ribeiro, Ethan Harris An Interview with Anna Christina Ribeiro