Beauty in African Philosophy

Beauty has a long history in philosophy. "The Concept of Beauty in African Philosophy," by  Diana-Abasi Ibanga, adds to this history by explaining another perspective. He is a Lecturer/Researcher in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calabar, Nigeria. What follows is a summary of his article, click the title above to download the … Continue reading Beauty in African Philosophy

Aesthetic Ineffability and the Rebirth of the Reader

Guest post by Venkat Ramanan The adjective “ineffable” appears to be used mostly in relation to either (a) a spiritual/mystical experience or (b) when we appreciate a work of visual or plastic art.  Here are some examples of (a) -  The British writer Karen Armstrong described Laozi (the Chinese philosopher from the 6th century BCE) … Continue reading Aesthetic Ineffability and the Rebirth of the Reader

Attention to Beauty

In his book, Aesthetics: A Very Short Introduction, Bence Nanay writes, "What all things aesthetic have in common is something very simple: the way you're exercising your attention" (p.22). To illustrate what he means, Nanay uses as an example the painting The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Landscape with the Fall of … Continue reading Attention to Beauty

Tragic Freedom: Murdoch on the Sublime

Guest post by Meredith Drees In 1959 Iris Murdoch wrote “The Sublime and The Good,”[1] in order to sketch a “definition [of art] through a consideration and criticism of Kant’s” (S&G, 43). Murdoch’s general view of aesthetics is strongly influenced by Kant’s, but she argues that his theory must be rejected because it “fails to … Continue reading Tragic Freedom: Murdoch on the Sublime

JCLA: Interview with Richard Shusterman

On July 3, 2019, Yanping Gao conversed with Richard Shusterman, and that interview is printed in the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (JCLA) VOl. 43, No. 1, 2020. This conversation took place in Beijing following Richard Shusterman’s lecture to the Philosophy Department of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). One of the key … Continue reading JCLA: Interview with Richard Shusterman

The Sublime Spectacle of the Coronavirus Curve

Guest post by Sally Cloke In her article in this journal, Meredith Drees provides a clear and succinct explanation of Kant’s concept of the sublime, that sensation of terror mixed with satisfaction—“negative pleasure” as Kant expresses it [i](CJ 23:245)—that is frequently experienced when we observe the natural world at its most formidable and threatening. But … Continue reading The Sublime Spectacle of the Coronavirus Curve

Sublimity as a Symbol of Moral Dignity

Guest post by Meredith Drees In Kant’s Critique of Judgment, he states that “sublime is what even to be able to think proves that the mind has a power surpassing any standard of sense” (25:250).[1] My aim in this essay is to argue that experiences of sublimity give us a glimpse of morality and true … Continue reading Sublimity as a Symbol of Moral Dignity

Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas

The concept of design entered new arenas in contemporary society. Design in traditional fields, like architecture, has clearly changed as exemplified by modern architectural feats. And design has entered areas that didn't even exist years ago, like web design. With new developments and changes in culture, design demonstrates those change. However, there are some principles of design that … Continue reading Three Design Conditions of Thomas Aquinas

Taste: Universal and Cultural

Beauty is the eye of the beholder. Regardless of what truth is contained in that statement, it is far too simple. The most common argument (not necessarily the best) is the a version of the following: people disagree about which objects are beautiful; therefore, beauty must be wholly subjective. And one's taste is subjective by … Continue reading Taste: Universal and Cultural

Fleeting Beauty

Every year, thousands of people flock to the first public beach in America, Revere Beach (est. 1896) for the International Sand-Sculpting Festival. These are wonderfully complicated works that sculptors create in a short time, and they don't last very long. Shortly after the festival is over, the sand sculptures disappear. “SHELLter" by Jonathan (Jobi) Bouchard … Continue reading Fleeting Beauty