This week at the Junkyard: a post by Emine Hande Tuna
I will be giving a talk on imaginative resistance at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division meeting in San Diego, on March 29, Thursday @ 5pm. In this paper, I criticize some of the recent trends in imaginative resistance research and put forward a positive account.
The phenomenon of imaginative resistance refers to the inability or unwillingness to engage with the particular imaginative activities prompted by works of fiction. For instance, suppose that Crime and Punishment were modified so that the narrator told us that Raskolnikov’s crime was the morally right thing to do. Even though we would then have no problem imagining the rest of the story as it is and accepting the author’s authority in telling us what is true in the story, there seems to be a problem imagining that Raskolnikov would be morally justified.
In the first part of my paper, I criticize some of the recent positions on imaginative resistance (Shen-yi Liao, Nina Strohminger, and Chandra Sekhar Sripada (2014) and Shen-yi Liao (forthcoming)), which I believe are contributing to the trend of straying away from the original promise of imaginative resistance research. But also, I want to acknowledge some of their strengths as well, particularly a compelling diagnosis they make (i.e. genre makes a difference). In the second part, I provide my own interpretation of the phenomenon and show that my interpretation also provides the theoretical framework to account for this compelling diagnosis. I argue that the reason why we find it almost impossible to engage in the imaginative activity prompted by a fictional work is grounded not only in moral disapprobation it creates but also in the emotion of disgust that mingles with and amplifies the disapprobation.
I will be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brown University between 2017 and 2019. My project, “Historical and contemporary approaches to imaginative resistance,” received $81,000 from Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The American Society for Aesthetics is pleased to announce the winning essay for the 2017 John Fisher Memorial Prize, an award for an original essay in aesthetics, created in memory of the late John Fisher, editor of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism from 1973 to 1988.
The Prize is intended to foster the development of new talent in the field of aesthetics. The competition is limited to those persons who have completed the terminal degree in their field and are in the early stages of participation in their profession.
The winning essay is “Kant on Informed Pure Judgments of Taste,” by Emine Hande Tuna. Dr. Tuna recently completed her doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Alberta. The amount of the Prize is $1,000, and the winning essay will be published in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. The author will also be invited to read the paper at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics in November 2017.
The next Fisher Prize will be awarded in 2019, with a submission deadline of January 15, 2019. Complete guidelines are here: https://aesthetics-online.site-ym.com/?page=fisherprize
The American Society for Aesthetics announced the winners of four prizes at the Business Meeting at the 74th Annual Meeting in Seattle:
MONOGRAPH PRIZE: Peter Kivy (Rutgers University) for his book, De Gustibus: Arguing about Taste and Why We Do It (Oxford University Press, 2015)
TED COHEN PRIZE: Anna Christina Soy Ribeiro (Texas Tech University) for her article, “The Spoken and the Written–An Ontology of Poems,” in The Philosophy of Poetry, John Gibson, ed. (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 127-148.
SELMA JEANNE COHEN PRIZE IN DANCE AESTHETICS: Chantal Frankenbach (CSU Sacramento) for her article, “Dancing the Redemption of French Literature: Riviere, Mallarme, and Le Sacre du Printemps,” Dance Chronicle 38:2 (2015), 134-160.
OUTSTANDING STUDENT PAPER PRIZE: Emine Hande Tuna (University of Alberta): “Kantian Hybrid Theory of Art Criticism: A Particularist Appeal to the Generalists”
For information on prizes to be awarded in 2017, please see the ASA web site (News==>Grants and Prizes)
My Kantian art criticism paper is out! If you want to read about the dependency relation between aesthetic assessments and nonaesthetic properties of objects, this is what you’ve been looking for your whole life. Here is the link.
I will be presenting my paper “Art as a Social Kind” in a Panel titled “Sex, Art, and Essentialism: New Perspectives on HPC Kinds” at the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science Annual Meeting in Calgary on May 27. My fellow presenters are Esther Rosario and Justin Bzovy.
Here is the abstract of my paper: It is hard to categorize art under either natural or social kinds because there are no necessary conditions for calling something art but only sufficient conditions and it is not at all clear whether these conditions are natural facts. is has been the main rationale for defending anti-essentialism. However, some attempts have been made to meet the challenge of anti-essentialism by construing art as a natural kind (Davies 2003, Gaut 2000, and Dutton 2009). Unfortunately, all these accounts fail to provide reasons as to why one should accept either of their open-ended lists of sufficient non-necessary properties for identifying something as art. Another more promising suggestion comes from Adajian (2012) who thinks that the right motivation can be found in adopting Boyd’s Homeostatic Property-Cluster theory. While I agree with Adajian’s desiderata for constructing a successful theory of art, I argue that these desiderata cannot be met even if we use HPC-kind theory because art is a social rather than natural kind. My claim is that, even though we cannot appeal to standard theories of social kinds, because they take social kinds to be mind-dependent and less real, a more naturalized theory of social kinds will serve the purpose. By applying this theory which is developed by Mason (2015) to the domain of art, I propose that social facts such as “x is an artwork” or “y is not an artwork” are not grounded in mental facts involving rules we accept, but instead grounded in behavioural and relational facts.
The 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetics was held at the Contessa Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, from 29 October to 1 November 2014.
The program committee received 78 submissions of papers (which included 16 from graduate students) and 12 submissions for panels. Of these, we accepted 40 papers and 8 panels. This is roughly the same as last year (which had 79 submitted papers and 16 panel proposals). The committee put forward two further panels. In addition, we were pleased to have three further panels honoring the work of much-missed members of the Society: Lee Brown, Ted Cohen, and Arthur Danto (although sadly the Danto panel could not go ahead owing to illness). We are very grateful to Sondra Bacharach and Stephanie Patridge, Richard Eldridge, and Lydia Goehr for organizing these.
The panels were on the following topics: Rough Heroes and Immoderate Moralists; Towards an Aesthetics of Rap; Slavery in Contemporary Cinema; The Philosophy of Design; and History and Criticism in Philosophy and the Arts. In addition, there were ‘Author Meets Critics’ sessions on Jennifer McMahon’s Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant’s Pragmatist Legacy; Arnold Berleant’s The Aesthetic Transformation of the Human World and Aesthetics Beyond the Arts: New and Recent Essays; Alan Goldman’s Philosophy and the Novel; and Christy Mag Uidhir’s Art and Art Attempts. The papers covered a large range of topics. There was quite a bit of history of philosophy this year (Kant, Schopenhauer, Collingwood, Kierkegaard, and Reid) as well as two sessions on (broadly) aesthetics and the law. Otherwise, all the usual topics were represented. Special mention should go to Henry Pratt’s thoughtful paper on pogonotrophic obligations.
Dom Lopes gave the Presidential Address: “Fans, Buffs, Freaks, and Nuts.” This entertained and instructed, and also gave us a glimpse of what looks to be a new project that will change the way we think about our relation with the arts and artistic judgment. On Friday night we were transported to Trinity University for a performance and discussion by SOLI, a chamber ensemble. Not only were the performances excellent, but the discussion was continuous with earlier discussions on the relation between musical genre and musical ontology.
This was the first year to benefit from several changes agreed by the Trustees. The SOLI concert was able to go ahead thanks for a $5000 fund for such events. A prize for the best graduate paper went to Emine Hande Tuna of the University of Alberta. There is also money to invite a scholar who would not otherwise come to the meeting; although we were successful in finding such a person, other commitments meant that, sadly, they had to withdraw fairly late in the process.
San Antonio proved an excellent venue. The hotel was comfortable and easy to negotiate, the Alamo was close by, Esquire did excellent cocktails, and the Riverwalk was great. The McNay Art Museum, with its temporary exhibition of Impressionist painting was superb.
I would like to thank the program committee: Keren Gorodeisky, Amy Coplan, Richard Eldridge, A.W. Eaton, Glenn Parsons, Luvell Anderson, Anna Christina Ribeiro, and John Hyman. It was a pleasure to work with them. In particular, I would like to thank Dabney Townsend for his contribution to the planning and organization, and Andrew Kania for sorting out what happened locally. This included organizing the SOLI ensemble event, and providing an excellent and reliable guide to local attractions, restaurants and bars. Finally, I would like to thank last year’s Program Chair, Aaron Meskin, for much help and useful advice.
Intelligibility – University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference
The 2nd University of Alberta Philosophy Graduate and Post-Graduate Conference will take place on May 9-11, 2014. This year’s theme is Intelligibility. I am organizing this conference with James Bachman, Emma Chien, Luke Kersten, Esther Rosario, Yasemin Sari, Joshua St. Pierre, and Andrew Tedder. I also want to thank Balázs Máté one more time for giving us the permission to use his photograph for the 2014 conference poster. Please visit his website to see more of those brilliant photographs. I also want to thank my sister, Merve Tuna, for designing the poster.
For something to be intelligible is for it to make sense or be afforded an explanation within a certain conceptual framework. Whether something is intelligible then seems both relative and intrinsic to the broader perspective from which we approach it. This makes the notion itself transparent to philosophical reflection. The aim of this conference is to bring intelligibility to the foreground, so that we can examine its nature and role within different discourses.
Papers from both the analytic and continental traditions, as well as from other disciplines and traditions of investigation are welcomed. We especially encourage submissions from women and other groups historically underrepresented in the profession. Possible questions for consideration include, but are not limited to: What are the criteria for intelligibility? Can intelligibility work as an explicit criterion in explaining our relationship to ourselves, others and the world? What makes scientific or philosophical explanations intelligible? What is the role that language plays in considerations of intelligibility? What is the relationship between intelligibility and rationality? What is the relationship between intelligibility and cognitive significance? Does or should intelligibility play a formative role in moral or aesthetic deliberation? Does the very notion of intelligibility hinge on a dubious notion of privileged access? If so, what are the dangers (ethical, political, social) of employing this notion?
“Intelligibility and Ineffability”
The City University of New York
Arché: Philosophical Research Centre
University of St Andrews
My paper on Jean-Luc Nancy’s account of community and the transformations it went through is published in Journal for Cultural Research. Here is the link for it.