Framing and the Ontology of the Art Work: Kendall Walton and Jacques Derrida

In his 1977 paper “Categories of Art” Kendall Walton argues that aesthetic categories like “piano music” or “bust” determine how an audience ascribes aesthetic significance to the non-aesthetic properties of the work such as their shape, matter or sound. Walton calls the perceptible properties that determine whether it belongs to a given category of artwork […]

Iain Grant on "The Great Cake of Being"

A wonderful presentation by Iain Hamilton Grant which takes flight from the Kantian principle that we can only understand something if we can synthesise it. This is not a problem in geology or chemistry when we are dealing with the synthesis of particulars from other material components. But what are its implications for our understanding […]

Pluralism, Good Manners and The Idea of a Common World

People and cultures have some non-overlapping beliefs. Some folk believe that there is a God, some that there is no God, some that there are many gods. Some people believe that personal autonomy is a paramount value, while others feel that virtues like honour and courage take precedence over personal freedom. These core beliefs are […]

Autonomous Systems Quotes

“Unlike physical or chemical dissipative structures, in which patterns of dynamic order form spontaneously, but whose stability relies almost completely on externally-imposed boundary conditions, autonomous systems build and actively maintain most of their own boundary conditions, making possible a robust far-from-equilibrium dynamic behavior.” “A big stone in the river holds water from flowing, and some […]

Internal Realism and Correlationism

Over at Agent Swarm, Terrence Blake claims that Quentin Meillassoux’s notion of correlationism  is excessively narrow since it disqualifies realist positions which respond to worries about access, objectivity and truth raised by transcendental philosophers from Kant through to Husserl, and Heidegger. I’m not sure if Meillassoux’s speculative solution works and I share his worries about Harman’s OOO. But I don’t see any reason to doubt […]