Readings

Seminars – there will be essential reading for seminars each week. More info to follow once seminars start.
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You can obtain the readings through StarPlus, which you can access from the University of Sheffield website. to work. Where readings are difficult to get hold of, I have provided a scan in the module dropbox – link is on Blackboard. If you are having trouble accessing anything, let me know.

You are not expected or required to read everything on this list!

For topics where there is something particular I want you to read, I will let you know. Where there is no essential reading, you should explore the topic yourself using this list and other literature you find. I’ve marked papers in bold that would be good places to start.

DEFINING ART

How should we define ‘art’? A number of definitions have been offered, but none is free from problems. A significant worry is that they embody relations of power, and do not adequately reflect art created by less powerful groups and/or non-Western societies. This and other problems with defining ‘art’ might lead us to be sceptical about the project of reaching a definition. Finally, there are interesting questions about works that lie at the borders of ‘art’, such as pornography.

General reading

  • Abell, Catharine. 2012. Art: what it is and why it matters. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 85: 671-691.
  • Eaton, Marcia, M. 1969. Art, artifacts, and intentions. American Philosophical Quarterly, 6(2): 165-169.
  • Graham, Gordon. 1997. Philosophy of the Arts: An Introduction to Aesthetics. London: Routledge, chapter 2 ‘Art and Emotion’. 

Art and the expression of emotion

  • Collingwood, R. G. 1938. The Principles of Art. Oxford: Clarendon Press, excerpts. [DROPBOX]
  • Graham, Gordon. 1997. Philosophy of the Arts: An Introduction to Aesthetics. London: Routledge, chapter 3. 
  • Hospers, John. 1954-55. The concept of artistic expression. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55: 313-344.
  • MacKinnon, John, E. 1996. Artistic expression and the claims of the arousal theory. British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3): 278-289.
  • Ridley, Aaron. 2005. Expression in art. In J. Levinson (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics. Oxford: OUP, pp. 211-227.[DROPBOX]

Institutional theories

  • Dickie, George. 1997. Art: function or procedure: nature or culture?. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 55 (1): 19-28.
  • Lord, Catherine. 1987. Indexicality, not circularity. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 45 (3): 229-232.
  • Matravers, Derek. 2000. The institutional theory of art: a protean creature’. The British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2): 242-250.
  • Tillinghast, Lauren. 2003. The classificatory sense of ‘art’. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (2): 133-148.
  • Yanal, Robert, 1998. The Institutional Theory of Art. In M. Kelly (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Oxford: OUP.

Cluster theory of art

  • Gaut, Berys. 2000. ‘Art’ as a cluster concept. In N. Carroll (ed.) Theories of Art Today. London: University of Wisconsin Press, pp. 25-44.
  • Fokt, Simon. 2014. The cluster account of art: a historical dilemma. Contemporary Aesthetics 12.
  • Gaut, Berys. 2005. The cluster account of art defended. The British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (3): 273-288.
  • Longworth, Francis, and Scarantino, Andrea. 2010. The disjunctive theory of art: the cluster account reformulated. The British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2): 151-167.

Problem of universality
I have divided the readings for this topic up a bit to help you find your way around them, but there are a lot of cross-connections between them and you will find material from one section relevant to the others.
Cultural imperialism

  • Shiner, Larry. 1994. “Primitive fakes”, “tourist art’, and the ideology of authenticity. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52(2): 225-234.
  • Blocker, Gene. 1991. Is primitive art art? The Journal of Aesthetic Education 25 (4): 87-97.
  • Crowther, Paul. 2003. Cultural exclusion, normativity, and the definition of art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61(2): 121-131.
  • Lopes, Dominic. 2007. Art without ‘art’. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (1): 1-15
  • Shiner, Larry. 2001. The Invention of Art: a Cultural History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Part II.
  • Wingo, Ajume. 1998. African art and the aesthetics of hiding and revealing. British Journal of Aesthetics 38(3): 251-264.

Where are the women?

Art versus craft

  • Markowitz, Sally. 1994. The distinction between art and craft. The Journal of Aesthetic Education 28 (1): 55-70.
  • Mounce, Howard. 1991. Art and craft. British Journal of Aesthetics 31 (3): 230-240.
  • Collingwood, R. G. 1938. The Principles of Art. Oxford: Clarendon Press, Book I.
  • Janaway, Christopher. 1992. Arts and crafts in Plato and Collingwood. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 50 (1): 45-54.
  • Parker, Rozsika and Pollock, Griselda. 1981.Old Mistresses. London: Pandora, chapter 2 [DROPBOX]
  • Shiner, Larry. 2001. The Invention of Art: a Cultural History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, chapter 15.
  • Walker, Alice. 1983. In our mothers’ gardens: the creativity of the Black women of the South. In her In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose. Mariner Books. This essay has been printed online by Ms Magazine.

Universal? Art and Evolution

  • Dissanayake, Ellen. 1999. “Making special”: an undescribed human universal and the core of a behaviour of art. Biopoetics: Evolutionary Explorations in the Arts. Saint Paul: Paragon House Publishers, pp.
  • Boyd, Brian. 2005. Evolutionary theories of art. In J. Gottschall and D. Sloan Wilson (eds.) The Literary Animal. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, pp. 149-178.
  • Crowther, Paul. 2003. Cultural exclusion, normativity, and the definition of art. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61(2): 121-131.
  • Davies, Stephen. 2012. The Artful Species: Aesthetics, Art, and Evolution. Oxford: OUP, particularly chapter 3, and part III. Available via Oxford Scholarship Online.
  • Davies, Stephen. 2005. Ellen Dissanayake’s evolutionary aesthetic. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2): 291-304.
  • Miller, Geoffrey. 2001. The Mating Mind. New York: Anchor Books. Chapter 8.

Art at the boundaries – pornography and art

  • Mikkola, Mari. 2013. Pornography, art and porno-art. In H. Maes (ed.) Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Basingstoke :Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 27-42. [DROPBOX]
  • Arrowsmith, Anna. 2013 My pornographic development. In H. Maes (ed.) Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Basingstoke :Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 287-297. [DROPBOX]
  • Eaton, Anne. 2012. What’s wrong with the (female) nude? In H. Maes and J. Levinson (eds.) Art and Pornography: Philosophical Essays. Oxford: OUP, pp. 278-308.
  • Fokt, Simon. 2012. Pornographic art – a case from definitions. British Journal of Aesthetics 52 (3): 287-300.
  • Levinson, Jerrold. 2005. Erotic Art and Pornographic Pictures. Philosophy and Literature 29 (1): 228-240.
  • Maes, Hans and Levinson, Jerrold. 2012. Art and Pornography Oxford: OUP. Available via Oxford Scholarship Online – you will find any of the essays in this collection useful for this topic.

Scepticism about the classificatory project

  • Lopes, Dominic. I. 2008. Nobody needs a theory of art. The Journal of Philosophy, 105 (3): 109-127.
  • Weitz, Morris. 1956. The role of theory in aesthetics. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 15 (1): 27-35.

AESTHETICS

The idea of art is closely linked with the notion of aesthetics. Artworks are sometimes claimed to be objects that embody aesthetic properties and/or provide aesthetic experiences. But what exactly do we mean when we talk about aesthetic properties, experiences, judgements…?

  • Matravers, Derek, and Levinson, Jerrold. 2005. Aesthetic properties. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 79: 191-227.
  • Walton, Kendall. 1970. Categories of art. The Philosophical Review 79 (3): 334-367.
  • De Clercq, Rafael. 2003. The concept of an aesthetic property. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (2): 167-176.
  • De Clercq, Rafael. 2008. The structure of aesthetic properties. Philosophy Compass 3 (5): 894-909.
  • Goodman, Alan. 1993. Realism about Aesthetic Properties. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51 (1): 31-37
  • Sibley, Frank. 1959. Aesthetic concepts. The Philosophical Review 68 (4): 421-450.
  • Zangwill, Nick. 1995. The beautiful, the dainty, and the dumpy. British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (4): 317-329.

An interesting topic in this area is something known as ‘everyday aesthetics’, which, as the name suggests, shifts the focus of aesthetics away from just those special things we identify as artworks, and onto ordinary experience. We will look at some writing in this field.

  • Carlson, Allen. 1976. Environmental aesthetics and the dilemma of aesthetic education. The Journal of Aesthetic Education 10 (2): 69-82. (Carlson talks about Susan Sontag’s ‘Notes on Camp’.)
  • Irvin, Sherri. 2008. The pervasiveness of the aesthetic in ordinary experience. British Journal of Aesthetics 48: 29-44.
  • Saito, Yuriko. 2014. Everyday aesthetics in the Japanese tradition. In L. Yuedi and C. L. Carter (eds.) Aesthetics of Everyday Life: East and West. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 145-164. [DROPBOX]
  • Carlson, Allen. 2014. The dilemma of everyday aesthetics. In L. Yuedi and C. L. Carter (eds.) Aesthetics of Everyday Life: East and West. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 48-64. [DROPBOX]
  • Leddy, Thomas. 1995. Everyday surface aesthetic qualities: ‘neat’, ‘messy’, ‘clean’, ‘dirty’. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (3): 259-268.
  • Saito, Yuriko. 2016. Body aesthetics and the cultivation of moral virtues. In S. Irvin (ed.) Body Aesthetics. Oxford: OUP, pp. 225-242. [DROPBOX]
  • Saito, Yuriko. 2007. Everyday Aesthetics. Oxford: OUP, chapter 2.

CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

Cultural appropriation can be defined as people from one culture adopting the cultural forms (art, music, fashion, etc.) of a different one. Generally speaking, the term ‘cultural appropriation’ connotes cases where this cultural exchange is claimed to be morally problematic, due to a power imbalance between the two cultures involved. But is this assumption justified? When it comes to artworks, does it require us to think of whole groups of people as ‘the artist’? Can cultures have intellectual property rights?

  • Young, James. 2010. Cultural Appropriation and the Arts. Chichester: Blackwells, chapters 1,3, and 4 [DROPBOX]
  • Coleman, Elizabeth Burns. 2004. Aboriginal art and identity: crossing the border of law’s imagination. The Journal of Political Philosophy 12 (1): 20-40.
  • Coleman, Elizabeth Burns; Coombe, Rosemary, J.; MacArailt, Fiona. 2009. A broken record: subjecting ‘music’ to cultural rights. In J. O. Young and C. G. Brunk (eds.) The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation. Chichester: Blackwells, pp. 173-210. [DROPBOX]
  • Matthes, Erich Hatala. 2016. Cultural appropriation without cultural essentialism? Social Theory and Practice,42 (2): 343-366.
  • Scafidi, Susan. 2005. Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, especially chapters 2, 5, 7, 8. [DROPBOX]
  • Walsh, Andrea, N.; Lopes, Dominic McIver. 2009. Objects of appropriation. In J. O. Young and C. G. Brunk (eds.) The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation. Chichester: Blackwells, pp. 211-234. [DROPBOX]

PICTURES

Many artworks are pictures – they present us with objects that may or may not exist in the world. For example, a picture of Toussaint L’Ouverture, presents us with the leader of the only successful slave rebellion. But what is it for something to be a picture? One might think there is an easy answer to this question: pictures resemble – or are like – their objects. But this does not get us very far. One thing’s resembling another is not sufficient for it to be a picture of it. Moreover, we also need to ask what it is for a picture to resemble its object.

General

  • Gracyk, T. 2012. The Philosophy of Art. Malden: Polity Press, ch.1, section 1.2. [DROPBOX]

Nelson Goodman on pictures

  • Goodman, Nelson. 1968. Languages of Art. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., particularly part I Reality Remade.
  • Carrier, David. 1974. A reading of Goodman on representation. The Monist 58 (2): 269-284.
  • Gallager, Ron. 2006. Depiction and Recognition. PhD Thesis, chapter one.
  • Harris, N. G. E. 1973. Goodman’s account of representation. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (3): 323-327.
  • Robinson, Jenefer. 2000. Languages of art at the turn of the century. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58 (3): 213-218.
  • Robinson, Jenefer. 1979. Some remarks on Goodman’s language theory of pictures. British Journal of Aesthetics 19 (1): 63-75.

‘Seeing-in’ and depiction

  • Bantinaki, Katarina. 2010. Picture perception as twofold experience. In C. Abell and K. Bantinaki (eds.) Perspectives on Depiction. Oxford: OUP, pp. 129-149.
  • Wollheim, Richard. 1998. On pictorial representation. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56 (3): 217-226.
  • Budd, Malcolm. 2008. On looking at a picture. In his Aesthetic Essays. Oxford: OUP, pp. 208-215.

Kendall Walton on mimesis as make-believe

  • Walton, Kendall. 2002.
    Depiction, perception, and imagination: responses to Richard Wollheim. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (1): 27-35.
  • Budd, Malcolm. 2008. On looking at a picture. In his Aesthetic Essays. Oxford: OUP, pp. 208-215.
  • Howell, Robert. 1996. Review of Kendall Walton’s Mimesis as Make-Believe. Synthese 109 (3): 413-434, section on pictures.

CREATIVITY AND GENIUS

It has long been thought that creativity and maybe genius are essential to the production of great art. But what exactly are these things? And are there any problems with the way we conceive them?

General reading

  • Gaut, Berys. 2010. The philosophy of creativity. Philosophy Compass 5 (12): 1034-1046

Creativity and rationality

  • Gaut, Berys. 2012. Creativity and rationality. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (3): 259-270.
  • Schlesinger, Judith. 2002a. Issues in creativity and madness part one: ancient questions, modern answers. Ethical Human Sciences and Services 4 (1): 73-76.
  • Schlesinger, Judith. 2002b. Issues in creativity and madness part two: eternal flames. Ethical Human Sciences and Services 4 (2): 139-142.
  • Levinson, Jerrold. 2005. Elster on artistic creativity. In his Contemplating Art: Essays in Aesthetics. Oxford: OUP, pp. 57-74.
  • Elster, Jon. 2000. Ulysses Unbound. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Part III.1-5[DROPBOX]

Creativity and tradition

  • Carroll, Noël. 2003. Creativity and imagination. In B. Gaut and P. Livingston (eds.) The Creation of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 208-234. [DROPBOX]
  • Olsen, Stein Haugom. 2003. Creativity and imagination. In B. Gaut and P. Livingston (eds.) The Creation of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 192-207. [DROPBOX]
  • Briskman, Larry. 1980. Creative product and creative process. Inquiry 23 (1): 83-106.