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The British Journal of Aesthetics Current Issue

Published: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:54:52 GMT


Notes on Contributors

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

CHRISTIAN FOLDE is a PhD student at the University of Hamburg, and a member of the Phlox Research Group. His research in aesthetics focuses on truth, interpretation, and the logic of fiction. He has recently published articles in the BJA, the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, and the Journal of Literary Theory.

A Bad Theory of Truth in Fiction

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

William D’Alessandro has recently argued that there are no implicit truths in fiction. According to the view defended by D’Alessandro, which he terms explicitism, the only truths in fiction are the ones explicitly expressed therein. In this essay, I argue that explicitism is incorrect on multiple counts. Not only is the argument D’Alessandro gives for it invalid, but explicitism as a theory of truth in fiction fails drastically to account for a number of phenomena that are crucial to our understanding and interpretation of fiction, such as pragmatic implicatures and speech acts occurring in fiction, psychological profiles of fictional characters, and fictional truths determined by literary conventions.

Corrigendum: In Other Shoes: Music, Metaphor, Empathy, Existence

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

In Other Shoes: Music, Metaphor, Empathy, Existence

The Missing Person Found. Part II: Feelings for Pictures

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

According to Dominic Lopes, expressiveness in pictures should be analyzed solely in terms of “expression looks” of various sorts, namely the look of a figure, a scene and/or a design. But, according to this view, it seems puzzling that expressive pictures should have any emotional effect on their audiences. Yet Lopes explicitly ties his “contour theory” of expression in pictures to empathic responses in spectators. Thus, despite his deflationary account of pictorial expression, he claims that pictures can give us practice in various “empathic skills.” I argue that Lopes’s account of empathic responses to pictures, while interesting and enlightening, nevertheless ignores the most important way in which pictures exercise and enhance our empathic skills, namely, by giving us practice in taking the emotional perspective of another person.

‘Call Me Ishmael’: Fiction and Direct Reference

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Whereas it appears that direct, or causal, theories dominate philosophy’s theories of reference, and it is widely held that they present an insuperable obstacle for a fictional character’s name to refer, I attempt to show not only that they can be easily made compatible with such theories, but that reference to the fictional fits rather smoothly into the distinctive articles of current theories of direct reference. However, the issues about reference to fictional characters goes well beyond those points, so its compatibility with direct referential theories is not a demonstration that names of fictional things in fact refer. This essay argues only that certain popular objections to fictional reference are unsound. Moreover, if those references were to occur, it would remove a serious self-inflicted conundrum over negative existentials, one from which those raising it seem unable to extract themselves credibly.

In Defence of the One-Act View: Reply to Guyer

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

I defend my ‘one-act’ interpretation of Kant’s account of judgments of beauty against recent criticisms by Paul Guyer. Guyer’s text-based arguments for his own ‘two-acts’ view rely on the assumption that a claim to the universal validity of one’s pleasure presupposes the prior existence of the pleasure. I argue that pleasure in the beautiful claims its own universal validity, thus obviating the need to distinguish two independent acts of judging. The resulting view, I argue, is closer to the text and more phenomenologically plausible than Guyer’s two-acts alternative.

Non-Fictional Narrators in Fictional Narratives

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

This paper is about non-fictional objects in fictions and their role as narrators. Two central claims are advanced. In part 1 it is argued that non-fictional objects such as you and me can be part of fictions. This commonsensical idea is elaborated and defended against objections. Building on it, it is argued in part 2 that non-fictional objects can be characters and narrators in fictional narratives. As a consequence, three fundamental and popular claims concerning narrators are rejected. In particular, it is shown that some fictional narratives have non-fictional internal narrators, some have no internal fictional narrator, and, most controversially, that the author of a fictional narrative can be identical to its internal narrator.

How Pictures Complete Us

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT

How Pictures Complete UsPAUL CROWTHER Stanford University Press. 2016. pp. 192. £16.99.


Mon, 21 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Book Review

One Act or Two? Hannah Ginsborg on Aesthetic Judgement

Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Hannah Ginsborg rejects my ‘two-acts’ interpretation of Kant’s conception of aesthetic judgement as untrue to Kant’s text and as philosophically problematic, especially because it entails that every object must be experienced as beautiful. I reject her criticisms, and argue that it is her own ‘one-act’ interpretation that is liable to these criticisms. But I also suggest that her emphasis on Kant’s ‘transcendental explanation’ of pleasure as a self-maintaining mental state suggests an alternative to the common view that pleasure is a distinctive feeling, even if Ginsborg herself does not draw that conclusion.

Aestheticism: Deep Formalism and the Emergence of Modernist Aesthetics

Wed, 03 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Aestheticism: Deep Formalism and the Emergence of Modernist AestheticsMICHALLE GAL Peter Lang.2015. pp. 164. £37.00 (pbk).

In Other Shoes: Music, Metaphor, Empathy, Existence

Tue, 02 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT

In Other Shoes: Music, Metaphor, Empathy, ExistenceKENDALL L. Walton Oup. 2015. pp. 320. £68.00 (hbk)

Time in Fiction

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Time in FictionCRAIG BOURNE AND EMILY CADDICK BOURNE Oup. 2016. pp. 261. £40 (hbk).