My principal interests are the theory of art (in the broad sense where it includes literature and music) and certain major artists and writers whose work strikes me as central to an understanding of the modern predicament. Generally speaking, I think the explanations of the nature and purpose of art offered by modern aesthetics tend to mislead us rather than aid our understanding. Indeed, I believe that “aesthetics” as traditionally understood has outlived its usefulness, anchored as it is in eighteenth and nineteenth-century worldviews which, at least in relation to art, are radically different from today's. Much of my writing is indebted t…

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