Philosophy of the Arts


Richard Wollheim: the aesthetics of painting; psycho-analysis.

Waarneming en Esthetische Waarneming

Alfred Lessing in zijn verzet tegen de esthetische relevantie van vervalsing, mengt de twee betekenissen die “esthetisch” heeft. Hij zegt dat we esthetisch het verschil niet zien tussen een origineel en zijn perfecte vervalsing [hij bedoelt: je kunt het niet zien!] en concludeert dat “fake or not” dus geen esthetisch verschil maakt voor onze beoordeling….

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Theses Concerning Iconic Images

It is an instructive exercise to compare so-called iconic images (as in: photographs) to paintings that have become an icon. A clear example of the latter would be Picasso’s Guernica, of the former: Vietnam Napalm, photograph by Nick Ut, 1972. Iconic Photographs A photographer does not make an iconic image. She makes photographs and one…

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How does music mean?

A Kind of Depiction? Would one recognise exactly what is depicted by some piece of music? Try this experiment: Perform a piece of music notable for its pictorial nature, hand out a piece of paper to everyone in the audience, and have them sketch the scene depicted. A translation Perhaps it is a viable thought…

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The idea that the composer best perform his piece with his own orchestra

1. Indeed. He knows his musicians best, and has written his piece with their powers in mind. In this “proper” (not: original) performance he can “correct” the orchestra, and, perhaps apply newly acquired insights to his score. As long as such proper performance is a viable possibility the claim in the title is of aesthetic…

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Polymodality is of the essence

Polymodality, the synchronous perception of the world through several of our senses, is of the essence of many things. Perception is by an embodied agent, and what is perceived is a reality an embodied agent can move in (Gibson, McDowell). Through it the reality of the perceived is proven (Locke and Hacking). The principle of…

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Processing an idea

I have always understood Lacan to be arguing that children at a certain age move from the imaginary to the symbolic, and that this transition takes place with their introduction to language. I may have misunderstood Lacan, but that is not what this entry is about. It is about processing an idea. If there is…

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The transitive transparency of communication

Any reader of Kafka’s stories realise that in them people do not communicate. In fact, it is the break-down, no, the sheer impossibility of communication that makes for the alienated sphere. But how? Do not the characters talk abundantly to each other? Suddenly the answer to this question dawned on me. The characters talk to…

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