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Preview: The British Journal of Aesthetics - Advance Access

The British Journal of Aesthetics Advance Access

Published: Tue, 29 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2017 00:51:48 GMT


Art and identity: A reply to Stopford


Richard Stopford, in criticizing my defense of purist restoration, attributes to me and refutes a metaphysical view I do not have concerning the identity and persistence conditions of an art work. I took for granted the ordinary idea of identity as continuity-in-space-and-time-under-a-sortal-concept, such as statue. I argued that Michelangelo’s Pietà remained the same statue after it was disfigured but that the damage was irreparable. By fixing molded prosthetics to the ruined work of art, the Vatican introduced a macaronic element into one’s aesthetic attitude toward the Pietà by making one attend simultaneously, without any visual guidance as to which is which, to (1) parts of the statue that were completed by Michelangelo’s hand and intended to be a work of art and (2) pieces added in the twentieth century for an different purpose, e.g., to make viewing the statue less disconcerting than a recognition of the damage would demand. An integral restoration, in contrast, allows one both to envision the art work as created and to grieve for what has been lost.

Peter Kivy and the Philosophy of Music (1980–2002)


In the beginning—or more exactly, the seventies, when I was in graduate school at the University of Michigan—was the void, and darkness was upon the face of the waters. Philosophical reflection on the experience, meaning, and powers of music by analytic philosophers was almost non-existent. And then, as the 1980s dawned, came Peter Kivy. Suddenly there was light, and analytic philosophy of music was born. In this piece I summarize the substance of the successive instalments in the astounding series of books on the philosophy of music that Peter published between 1980 and 2002, allowing myself some critical reflections in a few cases.