Review of Scientific Purposes

Here is my review of Anna Schuleit Haber's exhibit Scientific Purposes (In which a murderous hairdresser donates his head to science, with one restriction) in Boston (March 2 - April 15, 2018). This is part one of a series for Big, Red & Shiny. For these essays, I review a show through the lens of a particular … Continue reading Review of Scientific Purposes

Beauty and Art

Robert Wellington has written a brief defense of the value of beauty in art. He explains: "Let me be clear. I am not saying that works of art ought to be beautiful. What I want to defend is our felt experience of beauty as way of knowing and navigating the world around us." He takes us … Continue reading Beauty and Art

Aesthetics for Teens!

On August 16, 2017, I led a workshop called Philosophy of Design: Aesthetics to the Graphic Design Studio at Artist for Humanity. First of all, if you don't know about them, you will be inspired to learn more. They employ about 150 teenagers to learn and make art. They all begin in the painting studio … Continue reading Aesthetics for Teens!

Jadranka Skorin-Kapov. The Intertwining of Aesthetics and Ethics

SKORIN-KAPOV, Jadranka. The Intertwining of Aesthetics and Ethics: Exceeding of expectations, Ecstasy, Sublimity. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2016. 236 pp. Cloth, $85.00—Rather than simply showing that aesthetics and ethics have some overlap or similarities, Jadranka Skorin-Kapov makes the stronger claim that both branches have a common experiential ground. Through an extensive survey (with dense exposition) … Continue reading Jadranka Skorin-Kapov. The Intertwining of Aesthetics and Ethics

The Rising Stairs of Beauty

One goes always upwards for the sake of this Beauty, starting out from beautiful things and using them like rising stairs. - Plato, Symposium, 211c In the Summer 2017 issue of ArchitectureBoston, Michael Spicher presents some philosophical reflections on striving for beauty, even though we may not have a perfect definition of it. For the article … Continue reading The Rising Stairs of Beauty

Emily Brady’s The Sublime in Modern Philosophy

THE SUBLIME IN MODERN PHILOSOPHY: AESTHETICS, ETHICS, AND NATURE. By Emily Brady. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Pp. Xi+227. Hard Cover $72.00, ISBN: 9780521194143. People commonly refer to pleasurable experiences of nature as experiences of beauty. Sometimes, however, beauty does not seem to be the appropriate term, causing some people to turn to the sublime. … Continue reading Emily Brady’s The Sublime in Modern Philosophy

Why Do We Thrive on Self-Expression?

Art is supposed to be experienced. Recently in Massachusetts, there has been a big push for why the arts matter. People blasted social media with photos holding signs explaining why the arts matter, which was truly awesome. I love art, and I highly commend them for their efforts. However, it is always surprising to me … Continue reading Why Do We Thrive on Self-Expression?

The Value of Art

The value of art is regularly challenged. Our state recently lowered the amount of money going to the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This raises a question: are the arguments we use for arts funding the best? The Americans for the Arts conference was recently held in Boston to discuss these kinds of issues. I’ll add to that … Continue reading The Value of Art