•  258
    Artwork completion: a response to Gover
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (4): 460-462. 2015.
    Response to Gover (2015) on Trogdon and Livingston (2015) on artwork completion.
  •  253
    Art and Intention: A Philosophical Study
    Oxford University Press. 2005.
    In Art and intention Paisley Livingston develops a broad and balanced perspective on perennial disputes between intentionalists and anti-intentionalists in philosophical aesthetics and critical theory. He surveys and assesses a wide range of rival assumptions about the nature of intentions and the status of intentionalist psychology. With detailed reference to examples from diverse media, art forms, and traditions, he demonstrates that insights into the multiple functions of intentions have impo…Read more
  •  226
    Nested art
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (3). 2003.
    Explores the artistic metarepresentation of nested art. Nested artistic structure; Contrast between artistic nesting and metafiction; Definition of nested art
  •  176
    Philosophical Perspectives on Fictional Characters
    New Literary History 42 (2): 337-360. 2011.
    This paper takes up a series of basic philosophical questions about the nature and existence of fictional characters. We begin with realist approaches that hinge on the thesis that at least some claims about fictional characters can be right or wrong because they refer to something that exists, such as abstract objects. Irrealist approaches deny such realist postulations and hold instead that fictional characters are a figment of the human imagination. A third family of approaches, based on work…Read more
  •  129
    The complete work
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3): 225-233. 2014.
    Defense of a psychological account of what it is for an artwork to be complete.
  •  129
    Teaching & learning guide for: Cinema as philosophy
    Philosophy Compass 5 (4): 359-362. 2010.
    The idea that films can be philosophical, or in some sense ‘do’ philosophy, has recently found a number of prominent proponents. What is at stake here is generally more than the tepid claim that some documentaries about philosophy and related topics convey philosophically relevant content. Instead, the contention is that cinematic fictions, including popular movies such as The Matrix, make significant contributions to philosophy. Various more specific claims are linked to this basic idea. One, r…Read more
  •  105
    The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film (edited book)
    with Carl Plantinga
    Routledge. 2008.
    _The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film_ is the first comprehensive volume to explore the main themes, topics, thinkers and issues in philosophy and film. The _Companion_ features sixty specially commissioned chapters from international scholars and is divided into four clear parts: • issues and concepts • authors and trends • genres • film as philosophy. Part one is a comprehensive section examining key concepts, including chapters on acting, censorship, character, depiction, ethics, ge…Read more
  •  104
    To some, Rene Girard is best known for his views on sacred myth and ritual. To others, he is the eminent structuralist critic who offers challenging readings of major literary works. Still others know him for his analyses of the Bible. Central to all aspects of Girard's work is his theory of mimesis, a basic hypothesis about the structures of human motivation, Yet nowhere in his writings does Girard offer a systematic presentation of the mimetic theory. In fact, key terminology shifts from work …Read more
  •  103
    On Authorship and Collaboration
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (2): 221-225. 2011.
    [Discussion article]
  •  89
    History of the Ontology of Art
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2011.
    First critical survey devoted to the history of philosophical contributions to this topic. Brings to light neglected contributions prior to the second half of the 20th century including works in Danish, German, and French. Provides a division of issues and clarifies key ambiguities related to modality
  •  89
    Theses on cinema as philosophy
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (1). 1991.
    The article explores the link between motion pictures and philosophy, citing film's contribution to philosophy, and the illustrative and heuristic roles of films. The philosophical contributions of films may be examined in the films "Vredens Dag," or "Day of Wrath," where filmmaker, Carl Theodor Dreyer used various specifically cinematic means to express ideas pertaining to ethical and epistemic issues, while "The Seventh Seal," provides some ideas about religion
  •  84
    On an apparent truism in aesthetics
    British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (3): 260-278. 2003.
    It has often been claimed that adequate aesthetic judgements must be grounded in the appreciator's first-hand experience of the item judged. Yet this apparent truism is misleading if adequate aesthetic judgements can instead be based on descriptions of the item or on acquaintance with some surrogate for it. In a survey of responses to such challenges to the apparent truism, I identify several contentions presented in its favour, including stipulative definitions of ‘aesthetic judgement’, asserti…Read more
  •  84
    Recent work on cinema as philosophy
    Philosophy Compass 3 (4): 590-603. 2008.
    Although the cinematic medium can be used in philosophically valuable ways, bold contentions about how films 'do philosophy' in an independent, innovative and exclusively cinematic manner are highly problematic. Philosophers' interpretations of the stories conveyed in cinematic fictions do not actually support such bold claims about film's independent philosophical value; nor do they offer adequate appreciations of the films' artistic value. Different kinds of interpretations having different go…Read more
  •  79
    Creativity and Art: Three Roads to Surprise by boden, margaret a
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (4): 423-425. 2011.
    [Book review article for Creativity and Art: Three Roads to Surprise by Boden, Margaret A, no abstract is available.]
  •  77
    The increasingly popular idea that cinematic fictions can "do" philosophy raises some difficult questions. Who is actually doing the philosophizing? Is it the philosophical commentator who reads general arguments or theories into the stories conveyed by a film? Could it be the film-maker, or a group of collaborating film-makers, who raise and try to answer philosophical questions with a film? Is there something about the experience of films that is especially suited to the stimulation of worthwh…Read more
  •  67
    Counting fragments, and Frenhofer’s paradox
    British Journal of Aesthetics 39 (1): 14-23. 1999.
    It is quite common to draw a distinction between complete and unfinished works of art. For example, it is uncontroversial to think that Vermeer had actually completed View of Delft before inept restorers added layers of coloured varnish to give the picture an antique quality, and there is very good evidence to support the related claim that the artist had not finished the work before he effected several pentimenti, including the painting over of a figure in the foreground on the right. Such beli…Read more
  •  64
    Did Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, or other "poststructuralist" theorists writing in the wake of May '68 come up with any good ideas about authorship and related topics in the philosophy of literature? The three volumes under review have a common point of departure in that broad question, but offer a number of contrasting responses to it. In what follows I describe and assess some of the various perspectives on offer in these 700 or so pages. The short answer to my initial que…Read more
  •  64
    Artistic Collaboration and the Completion of Works of Art
    with Carol Archer
    British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (4): 439-455. 2010.
    We present an analysis of work completion couched in terms of an effective completion decision identified by its characteristic contents and functions. In our proposal, the artist's completion decision can take a number of distinct forms, including a procedural variety referred to as an ‘extended completion decision’. In the second part of this essay, we address ourselves to the question of whether collaborative art-making projects stand as counterexamples to the proposed analysis of work comple…Read more
  •  57
    On Cinematic Genius: Ontology and Appreciation: Paisley Livingston
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 71 85-104. 2012.
    The word ‘genius’ is often associated with the idea that artistic creativity is entirely a matter of an involuntary sort of inspiration visited upon the individual artist. My aim in referring to cinematic genius is not, however, to defend that dubious thesis, but to direct attention to the remarkable artistic achievements that some film-makers, working individually or in collaborative teams, have managed to bring about in their intentional and often painstaking creation of cinematic works. Geniu…Read more
  •  57
    Utile et dulce: A response to noël Carroll
    British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (3): 274-281. 2006.
    l Carroll's criticisms of my essay on C. I. Lewis's conception of aesthetic experience, I discuss reasons given in support of axiological accounts of aesthetic experience, including Lewis's contentions about the intrinsic valence of all experiences and his emphasis on the interests motivating philosophical classifications of experience. I also respond to Carroll's remarks about a possible explanatory requirement on a conception of aesthetic experience and the idea that artists have aesthetic exp…Read more
  •  54
    'Explicating "Creativity"
    In Berys Gaut & Matthew Kieran (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Creativity and Philosophy, Routledge. pp. 108-123. 2018.
    Beginning with the prevalent idea that creativity is the ability to make or do things having valuable novelty, the paper explores a variety of axiological and novelty conditions and defends an instrumental success condition. I discuss Robert K. Merton's distinction between 'originality' and 'priority', and Margaret Boden's similar distinction between historical and psychological creativity, as well as Thomas Reid's and Bruce Vermazen's remarks on relations between novelty and value.
  •  54
    C. I. Lewis and the outlines of aesthetic experience
    British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (4): 378-392. 2004.
    The current essay describes aspects of C. I. Lewis’s rarely cited contributions to aesthetics, focusing primarily on the conception of aesthetic experience developed in An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation. Lewis characterized aesthetic value as a proper subset of inherent value, which he understood as the power to occasion intrinsically valued experiences. He distinguished aesthetic experiences from experiences more generally in terms of eight conditions. Roughly, he proposed that aesthetic e…Read more
  •  53
    Du Bos' Paradox
    British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (4): 393-406. 2013.
    What is now generally known as the paradox of art and negative affect was identified as a paradox by the Abbé Jean-Baptiste Du Bos in 1719. In his attempt to explain how people can admire and enjoy representational works that ‘afflict’ them, Du Bos claims that such representations give rise to ‘artificial’ emotions, provide a pleasurable relief from boredom, and offer us epistemic, artistic, and moral rewards. The paper delineates Du Bos’ proposal, considers the question of Du Bos’ originality, …Read more
  •  45
    Narrativity and Knowledge
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (1): 25-36. 2009.
    The ever-expanding literature on narrative reveals a striking divergence of claims about the epistemic valence of narrative. One such claim is the oftstated idea that narratives or stories generate both “hot” and “cold” epistemic irrationality. A familiar, rival claim is that narrative has an exclusive capacity to embody or convey important types of knowledge. Such contrasting contentions are not typically presented as statements about the accidents or effects of particular narratives; the ambit…Read more
  •  43
    What is mimetic desire?
    Philosophical Psychology 7 (3). 1994.
    This essay provides a conceptual analysis and reconstruction of the notion of mimetic desire, first proposed in Girard (1961). The basic idea behind the idea of mimetic desire is that imitation can play a key role in human motivational processes. Yet mimetic desire is distinguished from related notions such as social modelling and imitation. In episodes of mimetic desire, the process in which the imitative agent's desires are formed is oriented by a particular species of belief about the model o…Read more
  •  41
    The Philosophy of Art
    British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (4): 431-433. 2006.
    Book review of The Philosophy of Art. By STEPHEN DAVIES.. Blackwell. 2006
  •  40
    This chapter contains sections titled: “Solid Objects” and Its Interpretations Towards an Alternative Interpretation “Solid Objects” as a reductio ad absurdum of One Kind of Aesthetic Theory Rapture does not Suffice
  •  34
    What's the Story?
    Substance 22 (2/3): 98. 1993.
    People often ask each other “what happens” in a novel or film, and they are inclined to think that some answers are better than others. Some claims about what happens in a story are deemed inaccurate or false, while others are the object of a fairly widespread consensus. The fact that a statement about a narrative discourse is deemed accurate does not mean that it will or should be accepted as an adequate statement about the story told in the discourse. If someone asks me what just happened in a…Read more
  •  31
    Hermes: Literature, Science, Philosophy
    with Michel Serres, Josue V. Harari, and David F. Bell
    Substance 12 (2): 123. 1983.