Aesthetics [eds: Valery Vinogradovs & Scott Clifton]

Hi to all on this thread, including @c-p-verdonschot and @wturgeon: We are currently looking for chapter authors for this section of the text! If you’re interested, please see the documents in the sticky post at the top of this thread–a chapter outline, a place to sign up for chapters, and an author guide (what does it mean to author a chapter?).

@hugh the link for chapters is for the Ethics text…

@wturgeon Whoops! Sorry about that, have corrected it now. Thanks for flagging it.

@clhendricksbc Hi Christina, I would love to author a chapter. But I get the feeling that not much has been done with my feedback on the outline above. As it stands, I’m still a bit puzzled by some of the guiding questions from the outline. E.g., the chapter “What makes an artwork beautiful?” seems to be mostly about beauty and aesthetic judgment, not art (is beauty an objective or subjective quality? If subjective, how to judge beauty?). Then again, the introduction states quite clearly that the whole section should be about art, not aesthetic experience in general. That is why I can understand why the distinction between artistic and aesthetic qualities is introduced, but the distinction itself I can’t quite wrap my head around (“a painting’s elegance is aesthetic, its symbolism is artistic” ? And one of those qualities is internal to the work and the other ‘supervenes’ on the work, whatever supervenience means?). If I were to write this, I would chuck the whole connotation with artworks, broaden the scope of the article so that it is about aesthetic judgment rather than merely beauty (sublimity is also an object of aesthetic judgment, no?), and then discuss various ways of conceiving of what it means to take on an ‘aesthetic attitude’. What are the preconditions of this attitude? Are they trainable (Hume, Baumgarten)? Universally available (Kant)? Sociologically determined (Bourdieu)? Politically emancipating (Ranciere)? Then, in the context of certain theories (e.g. the role of art as a medium for cultural reproduction, for Bildung, etc. etc.), I would think about introducing art as a special kind of objects of aesthetic appreciation.

Long story short, I could write chapter 3, but I fear I would take it in a direction completely differing from what @cliftows imagines it to be.

@c.p.verdonschot Hi! Just wanted to say I’ve read your message and looked over the outline and am thinking…and Scott is too. We’ll get back here on these ideas soon!

@c.p.verdonschot I will be in touch in the next couple of days with some ideas for a gameplan for writing this chapter.

@zoe Hi Zoe - thanks for your message. I’m looking forward to pulling a submission together. I’ll definitely let you know if I have any questions. Thanks! (p.s. I originally lived in Thames and the Hauraki Plains areas though I now live in AKL and walk past AUT nearly every day.)

@cliftows Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you!

@senddanemail Small world! Great to be working with you, and we look forward to seeing your chapter come together.

@cliftows I have been teaching an aesthetics component of an introduction to philosophy course for (roughly) 18 year olds for around 4-5 years. In the course of this I have come to the conclusion that the whole ‘what makes something an artwork’ question is a bit of a dead end.
Instead I now go straight to the question of what makes something a good/really good/great work of art.
This is a far more interesting question, for a start it allows us to sidestep a lot of rather tedious or more-or-less sociological stuff, yet allows us to introduce most of the theories you list here. But now with more ‘oomph’. ‘Does a focus on the expressive aspects of a work permit us to fully appreciate all great works of art, or are there clear counter examples; works that are unquestionably great, but which have very little expressive clout?’ &c.
Happy to share my curriculum materials if interested.

@cliftows @clhendricksbc @zoe
Just joined the Rebus forum.
I have studied (and topped :)) M.A. level Aesthetics at School of Arts & Aesthetics - JNU, New Delhi (2016).
I obviously don’t have the required expertise to write a chapter, but I am very keen to contribute in copy editing/ proofreading.

Hi @will.get.back! Welcome! Really appreciate your interest in this project and we’ll definitely keep you in mind for editing & other jobs down the line. If possible, could you add your details here so we can get in touch when the chapters are a bit further along? Thanks :slight_smile:

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@zoe Thanks. Done (row 55).

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@will.get.back Thank YOU! Look forward to working with you.

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An update on this book because it’s been quite awhile! The original editor had to concentrate on other things and we have found a new editor, Valery Vinogradovs. The new outline for the aesthetics book is ready to go and we are looking for one more author, for the last chapter on Environmental Aesthetics.

I love this project!

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Another update–things are moving along very well on this book. We have authors for all the chapters, and the chapters should be finished by the end of August. We are seeking peer reviewers for this book, to start reviewing the chapters after that!

We are looking for peer reviewers who have a PhD in philosophy, or are in a PhD program, and who ideally have some experience teaching introductory-level courses (since the book is aimed at students in such courses).

If you might be interested, please post a message here or on the volunteer sign up thread.

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More updates!

  1. We have found peer reviewers for this book!

  2. Nearly all of the chapters are completed; we are expecting them to be done in the next couple of weeks. Then peer review will begin shortly after that.

We’re excited to see this book move along!

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Thanks for the update! It’s great to see how quickly things are moving on this book :smiley: Keeping my eyes and ears peeled for more news as the team makes progress.

Hi all,

Belatedly, I am delighted to announce that the Introduction to Aesthetics is currently being refereed.

Our contributors come from Canada, Australia, Japan, USA, Germany, China, England, France, Ethiopia, Austria, and Italy.

The collection is a collaborative effort by a group of world-class experts, early career researchers, established scholars and free spirits.

The first part critically overviews the central questions in the philosophical tradition, e.g. the epistemological, civic, and ethical significance of cultivating aesthetic sensibility.

The second addresses more historically marginalised topics, such as Ancient Aesthetics and Aboriginal Art, as well as fresh developments like environmental aesthetics and somaesthetics.

More news soon.