Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Osipovich - Currie's 'Arts and Minds'
"From Plato’s banishment of the poets from the Republic to Ayer’s dismissal of aesthetics (alongside normative ethics) as a legitimate field of philosophical inquiry, aesthetics has often been treated as the red-headed stepchild of philosophy. Gregory Currie blames this state of affairs in recent times on aestheticians who have attempted to “carve out a domain of problems about the arts that could be investigated without serious help from other areas of philosophy.” This attempt, he believes, resulted in “stagnation and marginalization,” since many problems about the arts depend for their solution on the philosophies of mind and language, and on psychological theories of human development. Currie hastens to add that the stagnation and marginalization of aesthetics has, at this point in time, been largely reversed. He also believes that at least some problems in aesthetics are not illuminated by empirical research (whether or not he believes there can be a philosophy of art that isn’t derivative from other philosophical disciplines he does not say). Nevertheless, this book is offered as an attempt to address several of the thorniest problems in aesthetics within a broader philosophical context. Even if he doesn’t solve these problems outright, Currie hopes to show that any solution that neglects the broader context is doomed to failure." - NDPR.