Bloomsbury Philosophy Library - Conversations in Contemporary Aestheti

Conversations in Contemporary Aesthetics

Philosophers in a Live Discussion

  • Are Taylor Swift’s re-recorded albums distinct works of art from the originals?
  • If, as a fan, I make and release an edited version of Star Wars Episode I, have I done anything wrong? Have I made an artwork?
  • What makes something aesthetic? Can I have an aesthetic experience of my own body? Can I have an aesthetic experience of an itch?
  • Is there anything wrong with just enjoying Taco Bell? If I enjoy it, does it add anything to say that I enjoy it ironically?

Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics is home to a range of exclusive case studies which use such questions to introduce students to theories in aesthetics. Watch the General Editor and four philosophers in a lively discussion about their case studies tackling the above questions in creative and accessible ways.


Photo of the author Darren Hudson Hick

Chair: Darren Hudson Hick

General Editor of Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics

Darren Hudson Hick works centrally in the overlap between the philosophy of art and intellectual property law. He is the author of Artistic License: The Philosophical Problems of Copyright & Appropriation (Chicago, 2017) and Introducing Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art (Bloomsbury, 2023), coeditor of The Aesthetics and Ethics of Copying (Bloomsbury, 2016), and General Editor of Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics. Read his introduction to the case studies here.

Photo of the author Sherri Irvin

Speaker: Sherri Irvin

Author of the Case Study: Itches

Sherri Irvin is editor of Body Aesthetics (Oxford, 2016) and author of Immaterial: Rules in Contemporary Art (Oxford, 2022). She is Presidential Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oklahoma. Her current work treats the intersection of aesthetic engagement, well-being, and justice.

Photo of the author Alex King

Speaker: Alex King

Author of the Case Study: The Taco Bell Beef Crunchy Taco

Alex King is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. She works in ethics, metaethics, and aesthetics. She runs the aesthetics and philosophy of art website Aesthetics for Birds and is the author of the book What We Ought and What We Can (Routledge, 2019).

Photo of the author James Harold

Speaker: James Harold

Author of the Case Study: The Phantom Edit

James Harold is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College, the author of Dangerous Art: On Moral Criticism of Artworks (Oxford University Press, 2020), and the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Art. He is the former Director of the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts. He has published widely in ethics and aesthetics.

Photo of the author Brandon Polite

Speaker: Brandon Polite

Author of the Case Study: Taylor Swift, Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Brandon Polite is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. He is also host of the YouTube series, Polite Conversations: Philosophers Discussing Art, which includes a miniseries on Taylor Swift's re-recordings. He will serve as editor of the (tentatively titled) essay collection Taylor Swift and the Philosophy of Re-recording: The Art of Taylor’s Versions, which will be published by Bloomsbury and is targeted for a late 2024 release.

Explore Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics

Start your exploration of the case studies and other content in the Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics collection by visiting the landing page.