•  297
    Aesthetic Disobedience
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (2): 115-125. 2015.
    This article explores a concept of artistic transgression I call aesthetic disobedience that runs parallel to the political concept of civil disobedience. Acts of civil disobedience break some law in order to publicly draw attention to and recommend the reform of a conflict between the commitments of a legal system and some shared commitments of a community. Likewise, acts of aesthetic disobedience break some entrenched artworld norm in order to publicly draw attention to and recommend the refor…Read more
  •  164
    Epistemic Abstainers, Epistemic Martyrs, and Epistemic Converts
    with Scott F. Aikin, Michael Harbour, and Robert B. Talisse
    Logos and Episteme 1 (2): 211-219. 2010.
    An intuitive view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement says that when epistemic peers disagree, they should suspend judgment. This abstemious view seems to embody a kind of detachment appropriate for rational beings; moreover, it seems to promote a kind of conciliatory inclination that makes for irenic and cooperative further discussion. Like many strategies for cooperation, however, the abstemious view creates opportunities for free-riding. In this essay, the authors argue that …Read more
  •  119
    Billy Budd's Song: Authority and Music in the Public Sphere
    Opera Quarterly 28 (3-4): 172-191. 2013.
    While Billy Budd's beauty has often been connected to his innocence and his moral goodness, the significance of the musical character of his beauty—what I will argue is the site of a struggle for political expression—has not been remarked upon by commentators of Melville's novella. It has, however, been deeply explored by Britten's opera. Music has often been situated at, or just beyond, the limits of communication; it has served as a medium of the ineffable, of unsaid and unsayable truths (and …Read more
  •  57
    Musical Formalism and Political Performances
    Contemporary Aesthetics 7. 2009.
    Musical formalism, which strictly limits the type of thing any description of the music can tell us, is ill-equipped to account for contemporary performance practice. If performative interpretations are in a position to tell us something about musical works—that is if performance is a kind of description, as Peter Kivy argues—then we have to loosen the restrictions on notions of musical relevance to make sense of performance. I argue that musical formalism, which strictly limits the type of thin…Read more
  •  50
    Living the Work: Meditations on a Lark
    Journal of Aesthetic Education 45 (1): 89. 2011.
    It is widely assumed that there is a blanket norm requiring the performer to present the work “in the best light possible,” and that the performer “make the ends of the work his own” or “live the work” in performance. Through careful consideration of a particular performance, I suggest that this is an inadequate conception of a performer’s obligations. I argue that the form of identification between performer and work commonly propounded by philosophers, musicologists, music teachers, and perfor…Read more
  •  49
  •  30
    Musical Ontology: Critical, Not Metaphysical
    Contemporary Aesthetics 12. 2014.
    The ontology of musical works often sets the boundaries within which evaluation of musical works and performances takes place. Questions of ontology are therefore often taken to be prior to and apart from the evaluative questions considered by either performers as they present works to audiences or an audience’s critical reflection on a performance. In this paper I argue that, while the ontology of musical works may well set the boundaries of legitimate evaluation, ontological questions should…Read more
  •  23
    On Epistemic Abstemiousness and Diachronic Norms: A Reply to Bundy
    with Scott Aikin, Michael Harbour, and Robert Talisse
    Logos and Episteme 3 (1): 125-130. 2012.
    In “On Epistemic Abstemiousness,” Alex Bundy has advanced his criticism of our view that the Principle of Suspension yields serious diachronic irrationality. Here, we defend the diachronic perspective on epistemic norms and clarify how we think the diachronic consequences follow.
  •  20
    Art and ventriloquism by Goldblatt, David
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2). 2007.
  •  19
  •  12
    Critical Performances
    Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (3): 89-104. 2012.
    Philosophers of music commonly distinguish performative from critical interpretations. I would like to suggest that the distinction between critical and performative interpretations is well captured by an analogy to legal critics and judges. This parallel draws attention to several features of performative interpretation that are typically overlooked, and deemphasizes epistemic problems with performative interpretations that I believe are typically blown out of proportion and ultimately fail to …Read more
  •  8
    Public Art: Thinking Museums Differently by hein, hilde: Book Reviews
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (1): 102-105. 2008.