•  14
    Aesthetic Pleasure Explained
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (2): 121-132. 2019.
    One of the oldest platitudes about beauty is that it is pleasant to perceive or experience. In this article, I take this platitude at face value and try to explain why experiences of beauty are seemingly always accompanied by pleasure. Unlike explanations that have been offered in the past, the explanation proposed is designed to suit a “realist” view on which beauty is an irreducibly evaluative property, that is, a value. In a nutshell, the explanation is that experiences of beauty are experien…Read more
  •  90
    The Critical Imagination, by James Grant: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. xii +192, £30.00 (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1): 208-209. 2014.
    No abstract
  •  211
    The Aesthetic Creation Theory of Art
    Sztuka I Filozofia (Art and Philosophy) 35 20-24. 2009.
    This is a critical discussion of Nick Zangwill’s Aesthetic Creation Theory of Art, as he has presented the theory in his book Aesthetic Creation. The discussion focuses on two questions: first, whether the notion of art implied by Zangwill’s theory is at once too wide and too narrow; second, whether Zangwill is right about the persistence conditions of works of art.
  •  72
    The debate about cinematic motion revolves around the question of whether the movement of cinematic images is real. That the movement we perceive in film should be construed as the movement of images is taken for granted. But this is a mistake. There is no reason to suppose that cinematic images of moving objects are themselves perceived to be moving. All that is necessary is to perceive these images as continuously changing images of one and the same object.
  •  138
    Reflections on a Sofa Bed: Functional Beauty and Looking Fit
    Journal of Aesthetic Education 47 (2): 35-48. 2013.
    This essay argues for two conclusions about functional beauty, as this notion has been understood by Parsons and Carlson in a recent book by the same name. First of all, it is argued that functional beauty either is not a distinct kind of beauty or that the members of this kind are not all and only instances of the property of looking fit. Second, it is argued that functional beauty is relative only to categories corresponding to essential functions. The second conclusion contradicts what Parson…Read more
  •  74
    In Anna Christina Ribeiro (ed.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics, Bloomsbury Academic. 2015.
    This survey chapter discusses four issues in architectural aesthetics: architectural design, architectural style, the justification of “optical correction”, and the metaphysics of reconstruction.
  •  216
    Women in Philosophy: Problems with the Discrimination Hypothesis
    Academic Questions 27 (4): 461-473. 2014.
    A number of philosophers attribute the underrepresentation of women in philosophy largely to bias against women or some kind of wrongful discrimination. They cite six sources of evidence to support their contention: (1) gender disparities that increase along the path from undergraduate student to full time faculty member; (2) anecdotal accounts of discrimination in philosophy; (3) research on gender bias in the evaluation of manuscripts, grants, and curricula vitae in other academic disciplines;…Read more
  •  97
    The Aesthetics of Design, by Jane Forsey (review)
    Mind 124 (494): 627-630. 2015.
  •  129
    Lopes on the ontology of japanese shrines
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (2). 2008.
    This article is a reply to Dominic McIver Lopes, 'Shikinen Sengu and the Ontology of Architecture in Japan,' published in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2007). The reply explains how the standard ontology of architecture is able to accommodate Japanese shrines such as Ise Jingu.
  •  82
    The Lazy Person's Approach to Depiction
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (2): 95-104. 2015.
    It has been argued (for example, by Nelson Goodman and John Hyman) that ‘depicts’ and similar terms such as ‘is a picture of’ and ‘represents’ are semantically ambiguous: sometimes they are two-place predicates expressing a relation, and sometimes they are not. This article takes issue with this claim and develops an alternative theory according to which the ambiguity in question is pragmatic rather than semantic
  •  95
    This chapter offers a new solution to the paradox of negative emotion in art. Crucial to the defense of this new solution is the normative sense of predicates such as 'is moving', 'is touching', 'is powerful', and 'is gripping'. Roughly, the solution itself is that, in their normative sense, these predicates designate aesthetic properties that we enjoy and value experiencing, even tough, in the cases which generate the paradox, the enjoyment comes at a price.
  •  272
    The Metaphysics of Art Restoration
    British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (3): 261-275. 2013.
    Art restorations often give rise to controversy, and the reason does not always seem to be a lack of skill or dedication on the side of the restorer. Rather, in some of the most famous cases, the reason seems to be a lack of agreement on basic principles. In particular, there seems to be a lack of agreement on how the following two questions are to be answered. First, what is art restoration supposed to achieve, in other words, what is the goal of restoration? Second, how can this goal be achiev…Read more
  •  225
    Recently, several authors have claimed to have found graph-theoretic counterexamples to the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. In this paper, I argue that their counterexamples presuppose a certain view of what unlabeled graphs are, and that this view is optional at best.
  •  118
    Building Plans as Natural Symbols
    Architecture Philosophy 1 (1): 61-78. 2014.
    Carroll William Westfall has claimed that building types can serve as natural symbols of (the purposes served by) activities such as venerating, celebrating, trading, and dwelling. The aim of this paper is to interpret Westfall’s claim in a way that makes it non-trivial and yet worthy of further investigation. In particular, an attempt is made to explain the connection between building types and what they symbolize without appealing to convention. The question is also answered whether a non-conv…Read more
  •  145
    Scruton on rightness of proportion in architecture
    British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (4): 405-414. 2009.
    In The Aesthetics of Architecture, Roger Scruton makes at least four claims about rightness of architectural proportion. The present paper lists those claims, briefly discusses the way they are related, and, finally, selects one as the topic of discussion: the claim that there cannot be an exact, mathematical definition of rightness of proportion. Scruton’s arguments for this claim are reviewed. The first is found to be substantially correct, whereas the second is found to rely on a mistaken ass…Read more
  •  107
    Autographic and allographic aspects of ritual
    Philosophia 29 (1-4): 133-147. 2002.
    This paper continues Israel Scheffler's investigation of rituals as autographic/allographic. It concludes that the autographic/allographic distinction is more fruitfully applied to rituals as a gradual distinction, distinguishing rituals in terms of their autographic/allographic elements or aspects.
  •  129
    A peculiarity in pearl’s logic of interventionist counterfactuals
    with Jiji Zhang and Wai-Yin Lam
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (5): 783-794. 2013.
    We examine a formal semantics for counterfactual conditionals due to Judea Pearl, which formalizes the interventionist interpretation of counterfactuals central to the interventionist accounts of causation and explanation. We show that a characteristic principle validated by Pearl’s semantics, known as the principle of reversibility, states a kind of irreversibility: counterfactual dependence (in David Lewis’s sense) between two distinct events is irreversible. Moreover, we show that Pearl’s sem…Read more
  •  110
    The aesthetic peculiarity of multifunctional artefacts
    British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (4): 412-425. 2005.
    Echoing a distinction made by David Wiggins in his discussion of the relation of identity, this paper investigates whether aesthetic adjectives such as ‘beautiful’ are sortal-relative or merely sortal-dependent. The hypothesis guiding the paper is that aesthetic adjectives, though probably sortal-dependent in general, are sortal-relative only when used to characterize multifunctional artefacts. This means that multifunctional artefacts should be unique in allowing the following situation to occu…Read more
  •  208
    According to Locke’s Principle, material objects are identical if and only if they are of the same kind and once occupy the same place at the same time. There is disagreement about whether this principle is true, but what is seldom disputed is that, even if true, the principle fails to constitute an applicable criterion of identity. In this paper, I take issue with two arguments that have been offered in support of this claim by arguing (i) that we can have knowledge of past whereabouts, and so …Read more
  •  296
    The aim of this paper is to derive a perfectly general criterion of identity through time from Locke’s Principle, which says that two things of the same kind cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In this way, the paper pursues a suggestion made by Peter F. Strawson almost thirty years ago in an article called ‘Entity and Identity’. The reason why the potential of this suggestion has so far remained unrealized is twofold: firstly, the suggestion was never properly developed by Strawson, …Read more
  •  4
    In Berys Gaut Gaut & Dominic Lopes (eds.), Routledge Companion to Aesthetics 3rd Edition, Routledge. 2013.
    This survey chapter focuses on two questions concerning the nature of beauty. First, can “beauty” be defined, and if so, how? Second, what is the relation between beauty and the mind; for example, between being beautiful and being judged beautiful, or between being beautiful and being the object of pleasure?
  •  288
    The structure of aesthetic properties
    Philosophy Compass 3 (5): 894-909. 2008.
    Aesthetic properties are often thought to have either no evaluative component or an evaluative component that can be isolated from their descriptive component. The present article argues that this popular view is without adequate support. First, doubt is cast on the idea that some paradigmatic aesthetic properties are purely descriptive. Second, the idea that the evaluative component of an aesthetic property can always be neatly separated from its descriptive component is called into question. M…Read more
  •  145
    Perceptual indiscriminability: In defence of Wright's proof
    with Leon Horsten
    Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216): 439-444. 2004.
    A series of unnoticeably small changes in an observable property may add up to a noticeable change. Crispin Wright has used this fact to prove that perceptual indiscriminability is a non-transitive relation. Delia Graff has recently argued that there is a 'tension' between Wright's assumptions. But Graff has misunderstood one of these, that 'phenomenal continua' are possible; and the other, that our powers of discrimination are finite, is sound. If the first assumption is properly understood, it…Read more
  •  143
    with Leon Horsten
    Synthese 146 (3). 2005.
    Criteria of identity should mirror the identity relation in being reflexive, symmetrical, and transitive. However, this logical requirement is only rarely met by the criteria that we are most inclined to propose as candidates. The present paper addresses the question how such obvious candidates are best approximated by means of relations that have all of the aforementioned features, i.e., which are equivalence relations. This question divides into two more basic questions. First, what is to be c…Read more
  •  213
    The concept of an aesthetic property
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (2). 2002.
    This paper provides an analysis of the concept of an aesthetic property in non-aesthetic terms.
  •  1
    Aesthetic Ideals
    In Kathleen Stock & Katherine Thomson-Jones (eds.), New Waves in Aesthetics, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 188-202. 2008.
    The aim of this chapter is to understand how sortals determine what aesthetic properties an object has. It is argued that Frank Sibley’s notion of an ideal of beauty does not help us to achieve that aim. Instead, it is argued, the special aesthetic relevance of sortals is better understood by reference to the (non-aesthetic) ideas of normality and functionality associated with sortals. In passing, the paper also argues that there must be a maximum degree of beauty if non-comparative judgments of…Read more
  •  165
    Two conceptions of response-dependence
    Philosophical Studies 107 (2): 159-177. 2002.
    The traditional conception of response-dependence isinadequate because it cannot account for all intuitivecases of response-dependence. In particular, it is unableto account for the response-dependence of (aesthetic, moral, epistemic ...) values. I therefore propose tosupplement the traditional conception with an alternativeone. My claim is that only a combination of the twoconceptions is able to account for all intuitivecases of response-dependence.
  •  197
    Modern Architecture and the Concept of Harmony
    British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (1): 69-79. 2011.
    The aim of this paper is to achieve a better understanding of why modern buildings do not easily harmonize with one another. After proposing, and defending, an analysis of the concept of architectural harmony, the paper turns to three possible views on whether we can expect more harmony from modern architecture in the future
  •  135
    A note on the aesthetics of mirror reversal
    Philosophical Studies 132 (3). 2007.
    According to Roy Sorensen [Philosophical Studies 100 (2000) 175–191] an object cannot differ aesthetically from its mirror image. On his view, mirror-reversing an object – changing its left/right orientation – cannot bring about any aesthetic change. However, in arguing for this thesis Sorensen assumes that aesthetic properties supervene on intrinsic properties alone. This is a highly controversial assumption and nothing is offered in its support. Moreover, a plausible weakening of the assumptio…Read more
  •  182
    Is There a Problem with the Causal Criterion of Event Identity?
    with Wai-Yin Lam and Jiji Zhang
    American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (2): 109-119. 2014.
    In this paper, we take another look at the reasons for which the causal criterion of event identity has been abandoned. We argue that the reasons are not strong. First of all, there is a criterion in the neighborhood of the causal criterion—the counterfactual criterion—that is not vulnerable to any of the putative counterexamples brought up in the literature. Secondly, neither the causal criterion nor the counterfactual criterion suffers from any form of vicious circularity. Nonetheless, we do n…Read more