University of Illinois, Chicago
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1985
Tucson, Arizona, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Value Theory
Other Academic Areas
PhilPapers Editorships
Feminist Aesthetics
  •  1215
    Feminist art epistemologies (FAEs) greatly aid the understanding of feminist art, particularly when they serve to illuminate the hidden meanings of an artist's intent. The success of parodic imagery produced by feminist artists (feminist visual parodies, FVPs) necessarily depends upon a viewer's recognition of the original work of art created by a male artist and the realization of the parodist's intent to ridicule and satirize. As Brand shows in this essay, such recognition and realization cons…Read more
  •  801
    The Role of Luck in Originality and Creativity
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (1): 31-55. 2015.
    In this article I explore the concept of originality from several viewpoints. Within the world of printmaking, I show that while print dealers may draw attention to originality in order to enhance economic value, artists emphasize the aesthetic value of a work based on the freedom to express artistic intent and to experiment with techniques of the medium. Within the worlds of philosophy and to some extent, psychology, “originality” has been misleadingly tied to the notions of “creativity” and “g…Read more
  •  692
    Feminism and Aesthetics
    In Linda Alcoff & Eva Feder Kittay (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy, Blackwell. 2007.
    This chapter presents an overview of feminism and aesthetics in the 2007 Blackwell Guide to Feminist Philosophy edited by Linda Martin Alcoff and Eva Feder Kittay. Sections cover the topics of distinguishing aesthetics and philosophy of art, bringing feminist theory into aesthetics, developing feminist challenges to aesthetics, the role of women artists in feminist aesthetics, feminist philosophers reflect on self-portraiture and women as objects of beauty, and future developments.
  •  502
    Beauty Matters
    Indiana University Press. 2000.
    Beauty has captured human interest since before Plato, but how, why, and to whom does beauty matter in today's world? Whose standard of beauty motivates African Americans to straighten their hair? What inspires beauty queens to measure up as flawless objects for the male gaze? Why does a French performance artist use cosmetic surgery to remake her face into a composite of the master painters' version of beauty? How does beauty culture perceive the disabled body? Is the constant effort to remain …Read more
  •  403
    Introduction: Feminism and Aesthetics
    with Mary Devereaux
    Hypatia 18 (4). 2003.
    This special issue of HYPATIA: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy we co-edited highlights the expanded range of topics at center stage in feminist philosophical inquiry to date (2003): recontextualizing women artists (essays by Patricia Locke, Eleanor Heartney, and Michelle Meagher), bodies and beauty (Ann J. Cahill, Sheila Lintott, Janell Hobson, Richard Shusterman, Joanna Frueh), art, ethics, politics, law (A. W. Eaton, Amy Mullin, L. Ryan Musgrave, Teresa Winterhalter, Joshua Shaw), and review …Read more
  •  278
    Surface and Deep Interpretation
    with Myles Brand
    In Mark Rollins (ed.), Danto and His Critics, 2nd Edition, Wiley-blackwell. pp. 69-83. 2012.
    Arthur C. Danto proposes a complex and controversial relationship between surface and deep interpretations in The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art (1986). We detail the analogy between understanding human actions and interpreting works of art that both develops a motivation for Danto's view and clarifies it. We object to the most plausible version of content dependency among surface and deep interpretations and in so doing, we also clarify the way in which an interpretation is constitutiv…Read more
  •  268
    Painting the Difference: Sex and Spectator in Modern Art, by Charles Harrison (review)
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2). 2007.
    British art historian Charles Harrison presumes the existence of a patriarchal world with power in the hands of men who dominate the representation of women and femininity. He applauds the ground-breaking work of feminist theorists who have questioned this imbalance of power since the 1970s. He stops short, however, of accepting their claims that all women have been represented by male artists as images of “utter passivity” (p. 4), routinely reduced by the male gaze to the status of exploited s…Read more
  •  253
    Beauty Unlimited (edited book)
    Indiana University Press. 2013.
    Emphasizing the human body in all of its forms, Beauty Unlimited expands the boundaries of what is meant by beauty both geographically and aesthetically. Peg Zeglin Brand and an international group of contributors interrogate the body and the meaning of physical beauty in this multidisciplinary volume. This striking and provocative book explores the history of bodily beautification; the physicality of socially or culturally determined choices of beautification; the interplay of gender, race, cla…Read more
  •  232
    Definitions of Art, by Stephen Davies (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2): 492-494. 1994.
    Davies presents the reader with a sterling review of the literature on the definition of "art" and a stimulating discussion of the role of conventions in the making and appreciating of contemporary art. Definitions of Art is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of aesthetics and as it informs the current dialectic on art.
  •  218
    Introduction
    with Peg Brand Weiser and Carolyn Korsmeyer
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 48 (4): 277-280. 1990.
  •  207
    Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics (edited book)
    Pennsylvania State University Press. 1995.
    Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics takes a fresh look at the history of aesthetics and at current debates within the philosophy of art by exploring the ways in which gender informs notions of art and creativity, evaluation and interpretation, and concepts of aesthetic value. Multiple intellectual traditions have formed this field, and the discussions herein range from consideration of eighteenth century legacies of ideas about taste, beauty, and sublimity to debates about the relevance of post…Read more
  •  170
    In 1970, art critic Linda Nochlin articulated the radical question, "Why are there no great women artists?" The Feminist Art Project (http://feministartproject.rutgers.edu) is engaged in a national and international re-assessment of that question, complete with a long overdue commemoration and celebration of women artists. Given TFAP's stated emphasis on recognizing the aesthetic impact of women on the visual arts and culture, questions arise within our own philosophical community about the pote…Read more
  •  164
    Glaring Omissions in Traditional Theories of Art
    In Steven Cahn (ed.), Philosophy for the 21st Century: A Comprehensive Reader, Oxford University Press. pp. 779-813. 2003.
    I investigate the role of feminist theorizing in relation to traditionally-based aesthetics. Feminist artworks have arisen within the context of a patriarchal Artworld dominated for thousands of years by male artists, critics, theorists, and philosophers. I look at the history of that context as it impacts philosophical theorizing by pinpointing the narrow range of the paradigms used in defining “art.” I test the plausibility of Danto’s After the End of Art vision of a post-historical, pluralist…Read more
  •  118
    Surface Interpretation: Reply to Leddy
    with Peg Zeglin Brand and Myles Brand
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57 (4): 463-465. 1999.
    In our paper "Surface and Deep Interpretation," we sought to provide detail and texture to Arthur Danto's views on interpretation, thereby explicating and defending them (as published in Mark Rollins, ed., Danto and His Critics (Blackwell, originally published 1993; second edition 2012). Leddy objects to our views; in the end, Danto's view, given our explication of it, remains tenable.
  •  117
    The Aesthetics of Childbirth
    with Paula Granger
    In Sheila Lintott & Maureen Sander-Staudt (eds.), Philosophical Inquiries into Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Mothering: Maternal Subjects, Routledge. pp. 215-236. 2012.
    Images abound of women throughout the ages engaging in various activities. But why are there so few representations of childbirth in visual art? Feminist artist Judy Chicago once suggested that depictions of women giving birth do not commonly occur in Western culture but can be found in other contexts such as pre-Columbian art or societies previously considered "primitive." Chicago's own exploration of the theme resulted in the creation of The Birth Project (1980-85): an unprecedented series of …Read more
  •  110
    Letters to the Editor
    with Myles Brand, G. E. M. Anscombe, Donald Davidson, John M. Dolan, Peter T. Geach, Thomas Nagel, Barry R. Gross, Nebojsa Kujundzic, Jon K. Mills, Stephen Lester Thompson, Richard J. McGowan, Jennifer Uleman, John D. Musselman, James S. Stramel, and Parker English
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 69 (2). 1995.
    Co-authored letter to the APA to take a lead role in the recognition of teaching in the classroom, based on the participation in an interdisciplinary Conference on the Role of Advocacy in the Classroom back in 1995. At the time of this writing, the late Myles Brand was the President of Indiana University and a member of the IU Department of Philosophy.
  •  97
    Lord, Lewis, and the Institutional Theory of Art
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (3): 309-314. 1982.
    In "Convention and Dickie's Institutional Theory" (British Journal of Aesthetics 1980), Catherine Lord maintains the following thesis: (L) If a work of art is defined as institutional and conventional, then the definition precludes the freedom and creativity associated with art. Lord also maintains that the antecedent of this conditional is false. In this note, I argue that (i) certain confusions and assumptions prevent Lord from showing the antecedent is false, and (ii) even if the antecedent…Read more
  •  81
    Beauvoir maintains a unified "compromise theory" of aesthetics throughout her ethics, feminism, and fiction that portrays the conundrum that every artist faces -- an impasse that sets action against inaction, politics against culture. Beauvoir's theory of art in The Mandarins, aided by an analysis of women's oppression in The Second Sex, advocates art that keeps past events alive in the present and in so doing, changes even the tragic into the life affirming. Beauvoir lauds artists who, even in …Read more
  •  74
    VIRTUAL BEAUTY: Orlan and Morimura
    L and B (Lier En Boog) 16 92-104. 2001.
    This essay offers some thoughts on the editors' (Annette w. Balkema and Henk Slager) project "Exploding Aesthetics" with the goal of extending aesthetics based on a specific type of artistic output. Both artists--Orlan and Morimura--have already expanded the normal parameters of artistic inquiry and the resulting critical discourse. As an aesthetician, I merely offer some elaboration and philosophical backdrop to their creative enterprise. They constitute the paradigm of the avant-garde artist e…Read more
  •  71
    The Sense of Art (review)
    The Personalist Forum 6 (1): 89-91. 1990.
    Review of 1989 text by Ralph A. Smith, noted art education scholar during the era of DBAE (Discipline Based Art Education), that criticizes the author's agenda to remedy the ills of the state of arts education, arts' secondary status to the sciences, pluralism, and popular ideologies of of contemporary culture as an agenda that is (below the surface) clearly conservative, male-centered, Eurocentric and elitist. My conclusion: "Educators, beware."
  •  36
    Review of New Feminist Art Criticism by Katy Deepwell (review)
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 55 (3): 344-345. 1997.
    Katy Deepwell calls for a vital and visible "new" feminist criticism in 1997 amidst a pessimistic overview of the state of feminist art and criticism in Britain, Canada, and the U.S. As an update to this review, I note that Deepwell took decisive and effective action on her pessimism and for the past twenty years (as of this writing in July 2017) created an online feminist journal--n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal--that has published over 550 articles by 400 writers and artists fro…Read more
  •  19
    ORLAN Revisited: DIsembodied Virtual Hybrid Beauty
    In Peg Zeglin Brand (ed.), Beauty Unlimited. pp. 306-340. 2012.
    This essay offers an update on the author's thoughts on the French feminist performance artist ORLAN, analyzing her visual representations as a new category of feminist visual art, namely, virtual hybrid beauty.
  •  18
    Review of Out of Order, Out of Sight (review)
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (4): 405-406. 1998.
    There has been an important artist in our midst. Her work is about gender, race, and the internal structures of the artworld, and it predated the current popularity of those topics in theoretical circles by three decades. . . . Piper's volumes serve two functions. Volume I, Selected writings in Meta-Art, 1968-1992, provides an intimate history of the development of her own creative art making, while Volume 2, Selected writings in Art Criticism, 1967-1992, chronicles her more public responses to …Read more
  •  16
    Review of Feminism and Contemporary Art: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter and The Emptiness of the Image: Psychoanalysis and Sexual Differences (review)
    with Jo Anna Isaak and Parveen Adams
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (3): 299. 1998.
    Both books published in 1996 explore the role that gender plays in the psychology of art (dealing with both making and viewing), complicating current philosophical distinctions between the aesthetic and the cognitive, and providing new insights into basic topics in the history and psychology of perception, representation, and disinterestedness.
  •  9
    This essay is about the history of challenges that women in elite sports have faced with respect to their gender identity within a society that perpetuates misleading aesthetic norms of beauty; it is a history fraught with controversy and injustice. . . . We recommend both the acknowledgment within the realm of elite sport of perceptual sexism based on misleading aesthetic norms of beauty, and a way of correcting such erroneous categorization that allows athletes the autonomy and agency to choo…Read more
  •  6
    Beauty Matters
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57 (1): 1. 1999.
  •  5
    Beauty as Pride: A Function of Agency
    APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 2 (10): 5-9. 2011.
    This paper (presented along with others at an APA session with the late Dr. Anita Silvers commenting) explores and engages a mode of defiant challenges to the traditional, able-bodied standard of female beauty evidenced throughout the history of art as portrayed by the controversial photographer, Joel-Peter Witkin. Witkin's images of Ann Millett-Gallant, author of the book, The Disabled Body in Contemporary Art, "visualize disability" as they explore issues in agency, otherness, and the medical …Read more
  •  4
    Bound to Beauty: An Interview with Orlan
    In Peg Zeglin Brand (ed.), Beauty Matters. pp. 289-313. 2000.
    The feminist performance art of the controversial French artist named Orlan is discussed in this interview with the artist.
  •  4
    Glaring omissions in traditional theories of art
    The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 4 177-186. 1999.
    I investigate the role of feminist theorizing in relation to traditionally-based aesthetics. Feminist artworks have arisen within the context of a patriarchal Artworld dominated for thousands of years by male artists, critics, theorists, and philosophers. I look at the history of that context as it impacts philosophical theorizing by pinpointing the narrow range of the paradigms used in defining “art.” I test the plausibility of Danto’s After the End of Art vision of a post-historical, pluralist…Read more