Author Archives: brogan

What is Aesthetics

Aesthetics with a capital ‘A’ refers to a slightly marginal field of philosophy – one that has seen better days, but that prattles along regardless and may even be making some kind of return. It sits forlornly alongside the major … Continue reading

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Catching Oneself Looking

At one level aesthetics is all about a specific, but ill-defined, mode of experience. Yet this necessarily involves something else as well – the recognition within the complex contours of beauty, sublimity, etc. that we are subject to an aesthetic … Continue reading

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Aesthesis/Ethos

Stated very simply, is aesthetics a ‘thing’? Is aesthetics a distinct category of experience (as Kant envisions), or is it only ever a means of addressing contradictions at the level of lived experience? If the latter, this entails thinking of … Continue reading

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2020 Transcdisciplinary Imaging Conference

Dark Eden, The Sixth International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersection Between Art, Science and Culture6 – 8 November 2020 Draft of my paper, ‘Imagining a Dead Hare‘. If we are to discover effective means of imagining a new … Continue reading

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Curating Performance

PCI 2020 Symposium, 5-10 OctoberPerformance in the Time of Halting and Transformation This paper represents a very preliminary effort to consider some of the implications of linking performance and curation. My particular interest is in conceiving the relationship between art … Continue reading

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Ramblings of a University Middle Manager in the Year 2020

These are some rough reflections on aspects of middle management filtered through the lens of current university crises. What crises? Let’s see: COVID-19 and the sudden shift to remote delivery, loss of international income and associated job losses; confusion in … Continue reading

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Mimesis

Mimesis is perhaps the best known of the traditional aesthetic principles. Of course it is never precisely, or simply, an aesthetic principle. This is not only because aesthetics itself is a more recent invention. It is also because mimesis represents … Continue reading

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Aesthetics and Value

At one level I am tempted to describe aesthetics as a form of value. Very briefly, aesthetics provides an alternative to systems of value that reduce, consume and dispense with the world. It projects a non-exploitative relation to things that … Continue reading

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Coronavirus

My motto from posting this song: ‘If at first you seriously suck then try, try again till you don’t seriously suck so much.’ 91 listens, not a single like. Must persevere! Fear and spending all we have/On nothing very much … Continue reading

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Aesthetics and Value

Aesthetics must enable a revaluation of the world. But how is this possible? Especially if aesthetics is conceived narrowly as a form of pleasure? We must either re-conceive aesthetics or abandon it for something else – some other notion that … Continue reading

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Aesthetic Time and Excess (notes)

Schiller’s aesthetic theory is closely concerned with the issue of time. What is the time of aesthetic experience? When does it happen? When is it needed? Like Plato, Schiller adopts a broadly pedagogical perspective. He is concerned with how aesthetics … Continue reading

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Ugliness

Ugliness would not be the simple opposite of beauty for Kant. Both the beautiful and the ugly share a subjective basis in an internal reflective sensation (an experience of pleasure or displeasure). The aesthetic moment is one of suspension. There … Continue reading

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Transcendental Aesthetic

Kant employs the term ‘aesthetic’ first in his Critique of Pure Reason as a means of clarifying the general conditions of experience. He develops the notion of a ‘transcendental aesthetic’ to indicate an a priori dimension of experience. There is … Continue reading

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NASN

Kant very often appears as a conservative figure, a philosopher who works at multiple levels to reconcile differences – between dogmatism and skepticism, for instance, and between dimensions of thought, morality and beauty. Yet there is potential to interpret this … Continue reading

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Reification

Ranciere employs two different notions of the aesthetic: the first represents a restricted conception linked to the self-definition of contemporary art (‘the aesthetic regime of art’); while the second indicates a more general conception linked to notions of sense and … Continue reading

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Aesthetics and coming to know

What is the relationship between aesthetics and knowledge? In ordinary use, the term ‘aesthetics’ relates to theories of beauty and art. It is a field of intellectual enquiry that examines non-strictly intellectual aspects of judgement and activity. In this sense, … Continue reading

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Three Definitions

Aesthetics refers to a dimension of inexplicable value. Aesthetics involves the non-propositional communication of truth. This truth has a holistic character – looking forward (as hope) and back (for strands of vivid memory and counter-memory). Aesthetics has no proper space … Continue reading

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Alphabet of Aesthetics

A is for art. A is for aesthetics (because aesthetics is much larger than art – if art is conceived in miniature as contemporary art). A is also for Adorno, for he deserves a mention and I am fundamentally shaped … Continue reading

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What brings me to aesthetics?

I can recall that my first response to art was quite simply blank. As a child my parents took me regularly to major galleries. They’d walk around very slowly, far too slowly for me, and ask what I thought of … Continue reading

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Aesthetics and the Popular (rough notes)

Bourdieu, Eagleton, etc. are probably right – aesthetics is ultimately all about class and class difference. (Or at least I can imagine arguing this.) For example, Plato’s prohibition of the poets is usually interpreted in epistemological terms as relating to … Continue reading

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Something like Four Weeks Since Last Post

I should stress at the outset that this is an amateur study of aesthetics. I am not a trained philosopher. I have read few of the works I discuss here in the original language that they were written. I lack … Continue reading

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Aesthetics as the uncertainty of sense

Ranciere describes the ‘knot’ of the aesthetic, which he links to the dilemmas of modernity and the paradoxes of contemporary art. Aesthetics is positioned as the conceptual complex for distinguishing a field of art that aspires to both autonomy and … Continue reading

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Beauty again

Within the context of Kant’s aesthetics, beauty describes a specific context of mediation and reconciliation. It establishes a common ground between our abstract logics-moral selves and our sensible selves. With no sense of compulsion, it demonstrates their potential for agreement. … Continue reading

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Aesthetics as the philosophy of beauty

We could begin by suggesting that aesthetics is the philosophy of beauty. We could add that it is also the philosophy of the sublime and the philosophy of art, but let’s stick for now with our very minimal definition. This … Continue reading

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Aesthetic Questions

What is aesthetics? Is it a universal sphere of qualitative human experience or an historically specific field that is intimately tied to the self-understanding of modernity? How is the term employed? What does it mean in use? How does aesthetics … Continue reading

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