Welcome to my blog. I plan to use this space as a venue through which to present my thoughts on philosophy and the arts, particularly cinema. My background is in literature, film, philosophy, and creative writing. Ideally, I will draw from these resources whenever possible to present my essays and musings within an appropriate context.
My primary philosophical interest is the philosophy of art. Recently, I have been focused on empirical approaches to the subject of taste. I want to know why people like certain things and dislike others; I seek the origin of these preferences, which I believe are rooted in experience, not metaphysics. Interestingly, I have found that people adopt aesthetical systems in the same manner in which they adopt ethical systems. Our values (in art and in life) are molded through happy accidents of experience and learning and then solidified through custom and social reinforcement; these values inform what objects and behaviors are either attractive to us or repulsive. I am interested in what these values look like in practice, what they say about us psychologically, and how they are used in aesthetical, critical evaluations of artworks.
Some works that best capture my personal philosophy of art (or which I at least find valuable and fascinating) are:
- The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche
- Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia
- “Of the Standard of Taste” by David Hume
- Making Sense of Taste and Savoring Disgust by Carolyn Korsmeyer
- “The Artworld” by Arthur Danto
- “What Is Art?” by George Dickie
A list of films (and one play) that tackle (sometimes humorously) issues of art and aesthetics, philosophy of narrative, or the artworld itself:
- A Bucket of Blood (Roger Corman)
- F for Fake (Orson Welles)
- Ratatouille (Brad Bird)
- Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy)
- Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
- Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley)
- Tim’s Vermeer (Teller)
- The Square (Ruben Östlund)
- Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (Chris Smith)
- Red by John Logan
Thank you for reading.