Ideas of Stephen Davies, by Theme

[New Zealand, fl. 2016, Professor at the University of Auckland.]

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 3. Analysis of Preconditions
'Necessary' conditions are requirements, and 'sufficient' conditions are guarantees
2. Reason / D. Definition / 1. Definitions
A definition of a thing gives all the requirements which add up to a guarantee of it
2. Reason / D. Definition / 13. Against Definition
Feminists warn that ideologies use timeless objective definitions as a tool of repression
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 2. Aesthetic Attitude
Aesthetic experience involves perception, but also imagination and understanding
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 3. Taste
The faculty of 'taste' was posited to explain why only some people had aesthetic appreciation
21. Aesthetics / A. Aesthetic Experience / 6. The Sublime
The sublime is negative in awareness of insignificance, and positive in showing understanding
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 1. Defining Art
The idea that art forms are linked into a single concept began in the 1740s
Defining art as representation or expression or form were all undermined by the avant-garde
'Aesthetic functionalism' says art is what is intended to create aesthetic experiences
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 4. Art as Expression
Music may be expressive by being 'associated' with other emotional words or events
It seems unlikely that sad music expresses a composer's sadness; it takes ages to write
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 6. Art as Institution
The 'institutional' theory says art is just something appropriately placed in the 'artworld'
21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 8. The Arts / a. Music
Music is too definite to be put into words (not too indefinite!)
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 1. Artistic Intentions
The title of a painting can be vital, and the artist decrees who the portrait represents
We must know what the work is meant to be, to evaluate the artist's achievement
Intentionalism says either meaning just is intention, or ('moderate') meaning is successful intention
The meaning is given by the audience's best guess at the author's intentions
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 2. Copies of Art
If we could perfectly clone the Mona Lisa, the original would still be special
Art that is multiply instanced may require at least one instance
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 4. Emotion in Art
Music isn't just sad because it makes the listener feel sad
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 7. Art and Morality
Immorality may or may not be an artistic defect
If the depiction of evil is glorified, that is an artistic flaw
It is an artistic defect if excessive moral outrage distorts the story, and narrows our sympathies
A work which seeks approval for immorality, but alienates the audience, is a failure