•  31
    A Companion to Aesthetics (edited book)
    with Stephen Davies, Kathleen Marie Higgins, Robert Stecker, and David E. Cooper
    Wiley. 2009.
    In this extensively revised and updated edition, 168 alphabetically arranged articles provide comprehensive treatment of the main topics and writers in this area of aesthetics. Written by prominent scholars covering a wide-range of key topics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art Features revised and expanded entries from the first edition, as well as new chapters on recent developments in aesthetics and a larger number of essays on non-Western thought about art Unique to this edition are six …Read more
  •  44
    Christopher Nolan’s Memento illustrates and explores two roles that memory plays in human life. The film’s protagonist, Leonard Shelby, cannot ‘make new memories’. He copes by using a ‘system’ of polaroids, tatoos, charts and notes that substitutes for memory in its first role, the retention of information. In particular, the system is supposed to help Leonard carry out his sole goal: to find and kill his wife’s murderer. In this it proves a disastrous failure. But are we so very much better off…Read more
  •  24
    The Sculpted Image?
    In Fred Rush, Ingvild Torsen & Kristin Gjesdal (eds.), Philosophy of Sculpture: Historical Problems, Contemporary Approaches, Routledge. pp. 187-205. 2020.
    Representational pictures and sculptures both present their objects visually: to grasp what they represent is in some sense to see, not only the representation before one, but the object represented. But is the form of visual presentation the same? Or does a deep difference lie at the heart of our experience of these representations, a difference in how each presents us with its object? Almost all philosophical discussion of pictures and 3D representations has assumed or implied a negative answ…Read more
  •  27
    We engage with all representational pictures by seeing things in them. Seeing-in is a distinctive form of visual experience, one in which we are aware of both the marks, projected lights, or whatever that make up the picture (its Design) and what the picture represents (Scene). Some seeing-in is inflected: what we then see in the picture is a scene the properties of which make essential reference to Design. Since cinema involves moving pictures, it too supports seeing-in. But can that seeing-in …Read more
  •  93
    Artistic Style as the Expression of Ideals
    Philosophers' Imprint 21 (NO. 8): 1-18. 2021.
    What is artistic style? In the literature one answer to this question has proved influential: the view that artistic style is the expression of personality. In what follows we elaborate upon and evaluatively compare the two most plausible versions of this view with a new proposal—that style is the expression of the artist’s ideals for her art. We proceed by comparing the views’ answers to certain questions we think a theory of individual artistic style should address: Are there limits on what ra…Read more
  •  42
    Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World
    Mind 112 (447): 558-563. 2003.
  •  252
    How To Form Aesthetic Belief: Interpreting The Acquaintance Principle
    Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 3 (3): 85-99. 2006.
    What are the legitimate sources of aesthetic belief? Which methods for forming aesthetic belief are acceptable? Although the question is rarely framed explicitly, it is a familiar idea that there is something distinctive about aesthetic matters in this respect. Crudely, the thought is that the legitimate routes to belief are rather more limited in the aesthetic case than elsewhere. If so, this might tell us something about the sorts of facts that aesthetic beliefs describe, about the nature of o…Read more
  •  225
    What is wrong with moral testimony?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3): 611-634. 2007.
    Is it legitimate to acquire one’s moral beliefs on the testimony of others? The pessimist about moral testimony says not. But what is the source of the difficulty? Here pessimists have a choice. On the Unavailability view, moral testimony never makes knowledge available to the recipient. On Unusability accounts, although moral testimony can make knowledge available, some further norm renders it illegitimate to make use of the knowledge thus offered. I suggest that Unusability accounts provide th…Read more
  •  188
    Beauty and testimony
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 47 209-236. 2000.
    Kant claims that the judgement of taste, the judgement that some particular is beautiful, exhibits two ‘peculiarities’. First: [t]he judgement of taste determines its object in respect of delight with a claim to the agreement of every one , just as if it were objective
  •  1
    Blackwell Companion to Aesthetics (edited book)
    with Stephen Davies, Kathleen Marie Higgins, Robert Stecker, and David Cooper
    Wiley. 2009.
  •  87
    Imaginative Understanding, Affective Profiles, and the Expression of Emotion in Art
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (4): 363-374. 2017.
    R. G. Collingwood thought that to express emotion is to come to understand it and that this is something art can enable us to do. The understanding in question is distinct from that offered by emotion concepts. I attempt to defend a broadly similar position by drawing, as Collingwood does, on a broader philosophy of mind. Emotions and other affective states have a profile analogous to the sensory profiles exhibited by the things we perceive. Grasping that one's feeling exhibits such a profile is…Read more
  •  27
    Kant, Quasi‐Realism, and the Autonomy of Aesthetic Judgement
    European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2): 166-189. 2001.
    Aesthetic judgements are autonomous, as many other judgements are not: for the latter, but not the former, it is sometimes justifiable to change one’s mind simply because several others share a different opinion. Why is this? One answer is that claims about beauty are not assertions at all, but expressions of aesthetic response. However, to cover more than just some of the explananda, this expressivism needs combining with some analogue of cognitive command, i.e. the idea that disagreements over…Read more
  •  766
    How to Be a Pessimist about Aesthetic Testimony
    Journal of Philosophy 108 (3): 138-157. 2011.
    Is testimony a legitimate source of aesthetic belief? Can I, for instance, learn that a film is excellent on your say-so? Optimists say yes, pessimists no. But pessimism comes in two forms. One claims that testimony is not a legitimate source of aesthetic belief because it cannot yield aesthetic knowledge. The other accepts that testimony can be a source of aesthetic knowledge, yet insists that some further norm prohibits us from exploiting that resource. I argue that this second form of pessimi…Read more
  •  193
    Critical Reasoning and Critical Perception
    In Matthew Kieran & Dominic Lopes (eds.), Knowing Art, Springer. pp. 137-153. 2006.
    The outcome of criticism is a perception. Does this mean that criticism cannot count as a rational process? For it to do so, it seems it would have to be possible for there to be an argument for a perception. Yet perceptions do not seem to be the right sort of item to serve as the conclusions of arguments. Is this appearance borne out? I examine why perceptions might not be able to play that role, and explore what would have to be true of critical discourse for those obstacles to be circumvented…Read more
  •  246
    Kant, quasi-realism, and the autonomy of aesthetic judgement
    European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2). 2001.
    Aesthetic judgements are autonomous, as many other judgements are not: for the latter, but not the former, it is sometimes justifiable to change one's mind simply because several others share a different opinion. Why is this? One answer is that claims about beauty are not assertions at all, but expressions of aesthetic response. However, to cover more than just some of the explananda, this expressivism needs combining with some analogue of cognitive command, i.e. the idea that disagreements over…Read more
  •  56
    Aesthetics as Philosophy of Perception (review)
    British Journal of Aesthetics 57 (3): 340-344. 2017.
  •  173
    Seeing-in and seeming to see
    Analysis 72 (4): 650-659. 2012.
    When we see something in a picture, do we enjoy visual experience as of the depicted object? Gombrichians say yes: when viewing ordinary pictures we simultaneously see the picture and seem to see its object. But why, then, isn’t seeing-in contradictory, and how are these two elements somehow integrated into a single experience? Gombrichians’ attempts to answer appeal either to our awareness of the picture’s design, or to the idea that picture and object are not given as in the same place. I argu…Read more
  •  121
    Painting, sculpture, sight, and touch
    British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2): 149-166. 2004.
    I raise two questions that bear on the aesthetics of painting and sculpture. First, painting involves perspective, in the sense that everything represented in a painting is represented from a point, or points, within represented space; is sculpture also perspectival? Second, painting is specially linked to vision; is sculpture linked in this way either to vision or to touch? To clarify the link between painting and vision, I describe the perspectival structure of vision. Since this is the same s…Read more
  •  30
    Jeffrey T. Dean Getting a Good View of Depiction _Film-Philosophy_, vol. 3 no. 26, June 1999
  •  208
    Imagination and affective response
    In Jonathan Webber (ed.), Reading Sartre: On Phenomenology and Existentialism, Routledge. pp. 100-117. 2010.
    What is the relation between affective states, such as emotions and pleasure, and imagining? Do the latter cause the former, just as perceptual states do? Or are the former merely imagined, along with suitable objects? I consider this issue against the backdrop of Sartre’s theory of imagination, and drawing on his highly illuminating discussion of it. I suggest that, while it is commonly assumed that imaginative states cause affective responses much as do perceptions, the alternatives merit more…Read more
  •  819
    The Real Challenge to Photography (as Communicative Representational Art)
    Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2): 329-348. 2015.
    I argue that authentic photography is not able to develop to the full as a communicative representational art. Photography is authentic when it is true to its self-image as the imprinting of images. For an image to be imprinted is for its content to be linked to the scene in which it originates by a chain of sufficient, mind-independent causes. Communicative representational art (in any medium: photography, painting, literature, music, etc.) is art that exploits the resources of representation t…Read more
  •  1328
    The Spectator in the Picture
    In Rob Van Gerwen (ed.), Richard Wollheim on the Art of Painting. Art as Representation and Expression, Cambridge University Press. pp. 215-231. 2001.
    This paper considers whether pictures ever implicitly represent internal spectators of the scenes they depict, and what theoretical construal to offer of their doing so. Richard Wollheim's discussion (Painting as an Art, ch.3) is taken as the most sophisticated attempt to answer these questions. I argue that Wollheim does not provide convincing argument for his claim that some pictures implicitly represent an internal spectator with whom the viewer of the picture is to imaginatively identify. in…Read more
  •  157
    In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics, Oxford University Press. pp. 572-582. 2003.
    What, if anything, is aesthetically distinctive about sculpture? Some think that sculpture differs from painting in being a specially tactile art. Different things might be meant by this, but it is anyway unhelpful to focus on our means of access to sculpture’s aesthetic properties, rather than those properties themselves. A more promising idea is that, while painting provides its own space, sculpture exists in the space of the gallery. To pursue this thought, I expound and develop the views of …Read more
  •  145
    Picture, Image and Experience: A Philosophical Inquiry
    Cambridge University Press. 1998.
    How do pictures represent? In this book Robert Hopkins casts new light on an ancient question by connecting it to issues in the philosophies of mind and perception. He starts by describing several striking features of picturing that demand explanation. These features strongly suggest that our experience of pictures is central to the way they represent, and Hopkins characterizes that experience as one of resemblance in a particular respect. He deals convincingly with the objections traditionally …Read more
  •  141
    Moving because Pictures? Illusion and the Emotional Power of Film
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 34 (1): 200-218. 2010.
    Why does cinema exert such power over our emotions? Many have wanted to answer by appeal to the idea that film sustains some illusion concerning the events it narrates. I compare three such views: that film sustains the illusion that those events are before us; that it sustains that illusion, but only partially; and that, though viewers are always fully aware of seeing pictures, those pictures are experienced as the moving photographic record of the narrated events. I identify these positions’ s…Read more
  •  493
    Episodic Memory as Representing the Past to Oneself
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (3): 313-331. 2014.
    Episodic memory is sometimes described as mental time travel. This suggests three ideas: that episodic memory offers us access to the past that is quasi-experiential, that it is a source of knowledge of the past, and that it is, at root, passive. I offer an account of episodic memory that rejects all three ideas. The account claims that remembering is a matter of representing the past to oneself, in a way suitably responsive to how one experienced the remembered episode to be. I argue that episo…Read more
  •  1200
    What Perky did not show
    Analysis 72 (3): 431-439. 2012.
    Some philosophers take Perky's experiments to show that perceiving can be mistaken for visualizing and so that the two sometimes match in phenomenology. On Segal’s alternative interpretation Perky’s subjects did not consciously perceive the stimuli at all. I argue that even setting this alternative aside, Perky's results do not prove what the philosophers think. She showed her subjects, not the objects they were asked to visualise, but pictures of them. What they mistook for visualizing was not …Read more
  •  329
    Inflected Pictorial Experience: Its Treatment and Significance
    In Catharine Abell & Katerina Bantinaki (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction, Oxford University Press. pp. 151. 2010.
    Some (Podro, Lopes) think that sometimes our experience of pictures is ‘inflected’. What we see in these pictures involves, somehow, an awareness of features of their design. I clarify the idea of inflection, arguing that the thought must be that what is seen in the picture is something with properties which themselves need characterising by reference to that picture’s design, conceived as such. I argue that there is at least one case of inflection, so understood. Proponents of inflection have c…Read more
  •  63
    Speaking through silence : conceptual art and conversational implicature
    In Peter Goldie & Elisabeth Schellekens (eds.), Philosophy and Conceptual Art, Oxford University Press. 2007.
    I first try to identify what problem, if any conceptual art poses for philosophical aesthetics. It is harder than one might think to formulate some claim about traditional art with which much conceptual art is inconsistent. The idea that sense experience plays a special role in the appreciation of traditional artworks falls foul of literature. Instead I focus on the idea that conceptual art exhibits a particularly loose relation between the properties with which we engage in appreciating it and …Read more