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Topic in Focus: Aesthetics

American Society for Aesthetics Conference 2022

Bloomsbury is delighted to be attending the American Society for Aesthetics Conference this year. In celebration, we have put together free chapters themed around the conference sessions.

All chapters are hosted on Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics or Bloomsbury History of Modern Aesthetics, two online collections in the Bloomsbury Philosophy Library which bring together primary and secondary material along with a range of pedagogical resources.


CONFERENCE SESSION: INTERPRETING THE REAL AND THE FICTIONAL (LOCATION: GEVURTZ)

Cover for The Nature of Fiction

Related chapter:

The Nature of Fiction by David A. Davies

In Aesthetics and Literature

David A. Davies looks at several outlier cases to consider the nature and definition of fiction, looking at stylistic and semantic conceptions of fiction, functional theories of fiction, and the idea of a “true fiction”.

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CONFERENCE SESSION: ART IN THE SERVICE OF POLITICS (LOCATION: QUEEN MARY BALLROOM)

The Whitened Female Face in Contemporary China

Case study:

The Whitened Female Face in Contemporary China by Eva Kit Wah Man

In Case Studies

In this case study, Eva Kit Wah Man considers the question of why whiter skin is valued in contemporary China, looking at what skin tone is thought to denote about a woman’s class, temperament, and emotions.

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Aesthetics and Politics in the Global South

Digital anthology:

Introduction to Aesthetics and Politics in the Global South by J. Daniel Elam

From Aesthetics and Politics in the Global South

Aesthetics and Politics in the Global South brings together aesthetic and political writing from South East Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Read the General Editor’s Introduction here



CONFERENCE SESSION: NON-FUNGIBLE ARTISTIC VALUE (LOCATION: FIRESIDE)

Cover of The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics

Related chapter:

Aesthetic and Artistic Value by Sondra Bacharach and James Harold

In The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics

Sondra Bacharach and James Harold examine the moral, political, aesthetic, and cognitive values of art, and consider how the different values interact.

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CONFERENCE SESSION: AESTHETIC VIRTUES AND VICES (LOCATION: GEVURTZ)

Wim Delvoye, Tim

Case study:

Wim Delvoye, Tim by E.M. Dadlez and Laura Sizer

In Case Studies

In this case study, E.M. Dadlez and Laura Sizer consider the artistic value of tattoos, and look at the case of Tim Steiner to consider the status of an artwork that is part of a human body.

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CONFERENCE SESSION: BEAUTY IN ART AND NATURE (LOCATION: GEVURTZ)

Cover of Outlines of a Philosophy of Art

Related chapter:

The Beauty of Nature by R.G. Collingwood

In Outlines of a Philosophy of Art

Read a free chapter from Outlines of a Philosophy of Art, a neglected work by R.G. Collingwood, which is exclusively available online as part of the Bloomsbury History of Modern Aesthetics collection.

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Black and white image of Samuel Alexander

Introductions to Primary Texts:

Introduction to Samuel Alexander’s Beauty and Other Forms of Value by Michael Rush

Beauty and Other Forms of Value (1933) was Samuel Alexander’s final monograph. It drew together many of his ideas on aesthetics that had been published over the preceding decade and weaved them into something greater than the sum of those parts.

Read the introduction to this primary text




CONFERENCE SESSION: DEFINING ART (LOCATION: FIRESIDE)

Cover of The Philosophy of Art: The Question of Definition: From Hegel to Post-Dantian Theories

Related chapter:

On the Impossibility of Definition by Tiziana Andina

In The Philosophy of Art: The Question of Definition: From Hegel to Post-Dantian Theories

Looking at Wittgenstein’s theory of family resemblances, Andina evaluates the arguments of William Kennick and Morris Weitz, and assesses the strengths of neo-Wittgensteinian criticism. She also considers Arthur Danto’s theory of narrative sentences as well as normalist and documental theories of art.

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Photo of man standing alongside a large wedding cake

Case study:

Wedding Cakes by Brian Soucek

In Case Studies

In this case study, Brian Soucek uses the Supreme Court case regarding the cake artist who refused to serve a gay couple to consider whether the wedding cake in question was a form of artistic expression, and, more broadly, whether food can be art.

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CONFERENCE SESSION: KANT ON AESTHETIC JUDGEMENT (LOCATION: GEVURTZ)

Cover of The Aesthetic in Kant: A Critique

Related chapter:

The Description of Taste I: Immediacy and Necessity by James Kirwan

In The Aesthetic in Kant: A Critique

This chapter examines the phenomenological question of the conditions Kant lays down for a feeling to lay claim to being a judgement of taste. Kirwan considers Kant’s criteria of subjectivity, universality, and his idea of beauty as aesthetic merit.

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Cover of Excerpt from the Doctrine of Reason

Introductions to Primary Texts:

Introduction to Georg Friedrich Meier’s Excerpt from the Doctrine of Reason by J. Colin McQuillan

Georg Friedrich Meier’s Excerpt from the Doctrine of Reason is the logic textbook that Kant used in his lectures at the University of Königsberg during his teaching career (1755–1796). Meier’s Excerpt is particularly noteworthy because of the way that he incorporates aesthetics into logic.

Read the introduction to this primary text


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