Boston University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1985
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  •  275
    The Poverty of Musical Ontology
    Journal of Music and Meaning 13 1-19. 2014.
    Aaron Ridley posed the question of whether results in the ontology of musical works would have implications for judgements about the interpretation, meaning or aesthetic value of musical works and performances. His arguments for the conclusion that the ontology of musical works have no aesthetic consequences are unsuccessful, but he is right in thinking (in opposition to Andrew Kania and others) that ontological judgements have no aesthetic consequences. The key to demonstrating this concl…Read more
  •  210
    Truth, correspondence and deflationism
    Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (4): 563-575. 2009.
    The central claim of this essay is that many deflationary theories of truth are variants of the correspondence theory of truth. Essential to the correspondence theory of truth is the proposal that objective features of the world are the truthmakers of statements. Many advocates of deflationary theories (including F. P. Ramsay, P. F. Strawson and Paul Horwich) remain committed to this proposal. Although T-sentences (statements of the form “ s is true iff p ”) are presented by advocates of deflati…Read more
  •  201
    Profound offense and cultural appropriation
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (2). 2005.
  •  166
    The slingshot argument and the correspondence theory of truth
    Acta Analytica 17 (2): 121-132. 2002.
    The correspondence theory of truth holds that each true sentence corresponds to a discrete fact. Donald Davidson and others have argued (using an argument that has come to be known as the slingshot) that this theory is mistaken, since all true sentences correspond to the same “Great Fact.” The argument is designed to show that by substituting logically equivalent sentences and coreferring terms for each other in the context of sentences of the form ‘P corresponds to the fact that P’ every true s…Read more
  •  150
    Relativism, standards and aesthetic judgements
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (2). 2009.
    This paper explores the various available forms of relativism concerning aesthetic judgement and contrasts them with aesthetic absolutism. Two important distinctions are drawn. The first is between subjectivism (which relativizes judgements to an individual's sentiments or feelings) and the relativization of aesthetic judgements to intersubjective standards. The other is between relativism about aesthetic properties and relativism about the truth-values of aesthetic judgements. Several plausible…Read more
  •  132
    Art, authenticity and appropriation
    Frontiers of Philosophy in China 1 (3): 455-476. 2006.
    It is often suggested that artists from one culture (outsiders) cannot successfully employ styles, stories, motifs and other artistic content developed in the context of another culture. I call this suggestion the aesthetic handicap thesis and argue against it. Cultural appropriation can result in works of high aesthetic value
  •  123
    The coherence theory of truth
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
  •  120
    The cognitive value of music
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57 (1): 41-54. 1999.
  •  120
    The concept of authentic performance
    British Journal of Aesthetics 28 (3): 228-238. 1988.
  •  117
    The metaphysics of jazz
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58 (2): 125-133. 2000.
  •  106
    The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation (edited book)
    with Conrad G. Brunk
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2009.
    _The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation_ undertakes a comprehensive and systematic investigation of the moral and aesthetic questions that arise from the practice of cultural appropriation. Explores cultural appropriation in a wide variety of contexts, among them the arts and archaeology, museums, and religion Questions whether cultural appropriation is always morally objectionable Includes research that is equally informed by empirical knowledge and general normative theory Provides a coherent an…Read more
  •  92
    Resemblance, Convention, and Musical Expressiveness
    The Monist 95 (4): 587-605. 2012.
    Peter Kivy and Stephen Davies developed an influential and convincing account of what features of music cause listeners to hear it as expressive of emotion. Their view (the resemblance theory) holds that music is expressive of some emotion when it resembles human expressive behaviour. Some features of music, they believe, are expressive of emotion because of conventional associations. In recent years, Kivy has rejected the resemblance theory without adopting an alternative. This essay argues tha…Read more
  •  89
    Should white men play the blues?
    Journal of Value Inquiry 28 (3): 415-424. 1994.
  •  89
    Art and Knowledge
    Routledge. 2001.
    Almost all of us would agree that the experience of art is deeply rewarding. Why this is the case remains a puzzle; nor does it explain why many of us find works of art much more important than other sources of pleasure. Art and Knowledge argues that the experience of art is so rewarding because it can be an important source of knowledge about ourselves and our relation to each other and to the world. The view that art is a source of knowledge can be traced as far back as Aristotle and Horace. A…Read more
  •  88
    Art and the educated audience
    Journal of Aesthetic Education 44 (3): 29-42. 2010.
    When writing about art, aestheticians tend to focus on the work of art and on the artist who produces it. When they refer to audiences, they typically speak only of the effect that the artwork has on its audience. Aestheticians pay little, if any, attention to the important active role that an audience plays in the workings of a healthy art world. My goal in this essay is to do something to end the neglect of the audience. I will focus on the role of the informed or, as I will call it, educated …Read more
  •  85
    Art, knowledge, and exemplification
    British Journal of Aesthetics 39 (2): 126-137. 1999.
  •  75
    Destroying works of art
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47 (4): 367-373. 1989.
  •  69
    Artworks and artworlds
    British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (4): 330-337. 1995.
  •  64
    Some members of the Vienna Circle argued for a coherence theory of truth. Their coherentism is immune to standard objections. Most versions of coherentism are unable to show why a sentence cannot be true even though it fails to cohere with a system of beliefs. That is, it seems that truth may transcend what we can be warranted in believing. If so, truth cannot consist in coherence with a system of beliefs. The Vienna Circle's coherentists held, first, that sentences are warranted by coherence wi…Read more
  •  60
    Aesthetic Antirealism
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (1): 119-134. 1997.
  •  57
    Between rock and a Harp place
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1): 78-81. 1995.
  •  53
    Key, temperament and musical expression
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (3): 235-242. 1991.
  •  49
    Global anti-realism
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (4): 641-647. 1987.
  •  43
    The ‘great divide’ in music
    British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (2): 175-184. 2005.
    Several prominent philosophers of music, including Lydia Goehr and Peter Kivy, maintain that the experience of music changed drastically in about 1800. According to the great divide hypothesis, prior to 1800 audiences often scarcely attended to music. At other times, music was appreciated as part of social, civic, or religious ceremonies. After the great divide, audiences began to appreciate music as an exclusive object of aesthetic experience. The great divide hypothesis is false. The musicolog…Read more
  •  34
    The Immorality of Applied Ethics
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 3 (2): 37-43. 1986.
  •  33
    Kivy on Musical Genius
    British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1): 1-12. 2011.
    Peter Kivy argues that Handel was the first composer to be regarded as a genius and that only in the eighteenth century was the philosophical apparatus in place that would enable any composer to be conceived of as a musical genius. According to Kivy, a Longinian conception of genius transformed Handel into a genius. A Platonic conception of genius was used to classify Mozart as a genius. Then Kant adopted a Longinian conception of genius and this shaped the perception of Beethoven. Kivy is wrong…Read more
  •  31
    Critique of Pure Music
    Oxford University Press. 2014.
    James O. Young seeks to explain why we value music so highly. He draws on the latest psychological research to argue that music is expressive of emotion by resembling human expressive behaviour. The representation of emotion in music gives it the capacity to provide psychological insight--and it is this which explains a good deal of its value
  •  31
    A Defence of the Coherence Theory of Truth
    Journal of Philosophical Research 26 89-101. 2001.
    Recent critics of the coherence theory of truth have alleged that the theory is incoherent, since its defence presupposes the correctness of the contrary correspondence theory of truth. Coherentists must specify the system of propositions with which true propositons cohere. Generally, coherentists claim that the specified system is a system composed of propositions believed by a community. Critics of coherentism maintain that the coherentist’s assertions about which system is the specified syste…Read more
  •  31
    Still more in defense of colorization
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 50 (3): 245-248. 1992.