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04/22/2014

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Kris Goffin

Have you read this:
https://www.aestheticsforbirds.com/2014/03/the-philosophical-importance-of_22.html#more

Eric Schliesser

Kris, I offered a link to the same piece by Anna Christina Ribeiro in the final paragraph of the original post!

Kris Goffin

Whoops... Didn't see it.
Anyway, I think that we, aestheticians, should work on our inferiority complex. Many questions in aesthetics are related to "core" topics in philosophical psychology, since both aesthetics and philosophical psychology investigate the nature of (perceptual/emotional/...) experience. So aesthetics is in a way already doing "mainstream" philosophy. Aesthetics does not need to assimilate; it is in need of recognition.

Bence Nanay

Eric, just to clarify, this conference is not organized by the BSA. It is supported (mainly) by the BSA - so I think it would be good to express your dissatisfaction with the conference organizers and not the BSA (that in no ways endorses all the objectives of all the conferences it supports). (Grandiose analogy: the EU does not endorse all the objectives of all ERC or Marie Curie funded conferences)...

Eric Schliesser

Bence, I think the BSA and the conference organizers share in all too common prejudices. I couldn't care less about blaming particular individuals, or expressing dissatisfaction with them over this.

Bence Nanay

Eric, you say things like "In this announcement, the BSA here has adopted an ugly..." No, it hasn't. The BSA has nothing to do with the announcement. So I really think you should change this. (again, analogy: "in this ERC or FP7 funded conference announcement, the European Union has adopted...")

Eric Schliesser

Bence, you are changing the subject, which is extremely common when we discuss our shared prejudices in the profession. So I am happily going to ignore what you think I should do. (If you think that I intend to hold the BSA accountable in the final sentence you are mistaken.)

Bence Nanay

Eric, I don't think I was trying to change the subject: I am in full and complete agreement about everything you say in this blog entry. In my own work on the borderline between aesthetics and philosophy of perception, I am trying to do an equal bidirectional interaction. So I share all your worries about the quote. But this makes it even more important to see just where the quote comes from. And you are also right (alas) that the shared prejudice you've identified is indeed shared quite widely. But, as it happens, the BSA is aware of this and is trying to fight against it. It is trying to encourage the line of connection between aesthetics and the other disciplines that you or I are in favor of and not the one that, as you rightly pointed out, is salient in the quote you begin your blog entry with. The very reason why the BSA established this 'Connection Conference' funding scheme was to encourage an explicit bidirectional interaction between equals. So it seems wrong to accuse the BSA of something that is the exact opposite of what it's doing.

Eric Schliesser

Bence, I hereby stipulate that I am not accusing the BSA of anything. The closing paragraph is not intended to be critical of any individual or any institution--rather, it's meant as an exemplar of how ideology functions. (As you may note, in the original post, I did allow *en passant* that "one of its partners" may have written the actual text; so signalling that I am aware of the facts that you repeatedly wish to stress and that I am going to ignore the temptation to connect the words to any particular author to be held responsible for them.)

Bence Nanay

Thanks, Eric.

M. Suárez

Totally in agreement with Eric. Just for the record, philosophy of science is perhaps not thought of as 'core' nowadays (remarkably since it certainly was in the US during the heyday of analytical philosophy in the 60's and 70's), but philosophers of science have learnt a great deal recently from philosophers of art on the topic of representation. Or at least I have, from the likes of Nelson Goodman, Ernst Gombrich, Richard Wollheim, and more recently Dom Lopes, Catherine Elgin, John Kulvicki. For more on how aesthetics informs or should inform discussions of representation in 'core' areas, see my Oxford bibliographies online article: https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396577/obo-9780195396577-0219.xml

Christy Mag Uidhir

I discuss similar issues (with a special focus on the relationship between the fields of Philosophy of Art and Contemporary Metaphysics) in the introduction to my anthology Art & Abstract Objects (Oxford University Press, 2013).

I applaud the BSA's Connections Initiative and think such things are vital for the health and continued survival of the field. However, I also understand that such efforts can at times feel very one-sided--that it's seen to be the responsibility of Aestheticians to make overtures to the "core" but not also the responsibility of those operating within said "core" to seriously engage with Aestheticians in areas of potential overlap (and in some cases seriously reconsider their views about such overlap itself).

M. Suárez

I recently had reason to want to find the comment I made above, and indeed how very nice to notice both the date and the mention of Elgin and Kulvicki. It is not always easy to predict, but there is by now a history of brief imperceptible comments of mine here and there inducing whole papers and conferences on particular topics. It also reveals that people follow this blog (or Eric's Facebook entries) more attentively than they show.

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