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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Fragile LifeA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAmbivalenceAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBest ExplanationsBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond MelancholyBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConcepts and Causes in the Philosophy of DiseaseConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDeleuze and the Concepts of CinemaDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't be FooledDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Down GirlDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnactivist InterventionsEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentExtraordinary Science and PsychiatryFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts and ValuesFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsInclusive EthicsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human NatureOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy in the Roman EmpirePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MedicinePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPositive NihilismPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable ReasoningReligion without GodRelying on OthersRemembering HomeResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsRestraining RageRethinking ExpertiseRethinking IntrospectionRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeRethinking the DSMRethinking the Sociology of Mental HealthRethinking the Western Understanding of the SelfReturn to ReasonRevolt, She SaidRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard Rorty's New PragmatismRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRise And Fall of Soul And SelfRitalin NationRobert NozickRousseauRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Derrida on DeconstructionRules, Reason, and Self-KnowledgeSaints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural IrelandSartreSartreSartreSartre in Search of an EthicsSatisficing and MaximizingSaving GodScandalous KnowledgeSchizophreniaSchizophrenia and the Fate of the SelfSchizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion?SchopenhauerSchopenhauer's TelescopeScienceScience and EthicsScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologyScience and SpiritualityScience and the Pursuit of WisdomScience Fiction and PhilosophyScience Fiction and PhilosophyScience in Civil SocietyScience in DemocracyScience RulesScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealityScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealSciences from BelowScientific EvidenceScientific IrrationalismScientific PerspectivismScientific PluralismScientific 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Mary Things and PlacesThinking About FeelingThinking about Free WillThinking and SeeingThinking for CliniciansThinking for CliniciansThinking of AnswersThinking through the BodyThinking TwiceThinking with WhiteheadThis is Madness TooThomas KuhnThomas KuhnThomas Kuhn's ""Linguistic Turn"" and the Legacy of Logical EmpiricismThought in a Hostile WorldThought in ActionThought's FootingThreads of LifeThree Faces of DesireThrough the Looking GlassTime and IdentityTo Have Or To Be?TolerationTortured SubjectsTowards a Science of Consciousness IIITowards Non-BeingTraumaTrauma, Truth and ReconciliationTrue to LifeTrue to Our FeelingsTrusting on the EdgeTrusting the Subject?Truth & PredicationTruth and Truth-MakingTruth and TruthfulnessTruth as One and ManyTuringTwo Great Problems of LearningTwo Regimes of MadnessUgly FeelingsUmbr(a)Unconscious knowing and other essays in psycho-philosophical analysisUnderstanding EmotionsUnderstanding EvilUnderstanding Kant's EthicsUnderstanding LoveUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding Moral ObligationUnderstanding PeopleUnderstanding Phenomenal Consciousness Undoing GenderUnifying HinduismUniversitiesUnlearning or 'How NOT to Be Governed?'Unnatural SelectionUnprincipled VirtueUnsanctifying Human Life: Essays on EthicsUnto OthersUpheavals of ThoughtUsers and Abusers of PsychiatryValue-Free Science?Values and Psychiatric DiagnosisVarieties of Anomalous ExperienceVarieties of MeaningVarieties of Practical ReasoningViolence Against WomenViolence and the BodyVirtue, Rules, and JusticeVirtue, Vice, and PersonalityVirtues and Their VicesVirtues of ThoughtVision and BrainVision and MindVision's InvisiblesVisual CultureVital NourishmentVulnerability, Autonomy, and Applied EthicsW. 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Clifford and "The Ethics of Belief"Waking LifeWandering SignificanceWays of KnowingWeakness of Will and Practical IrrationalityWeakness of Will from Plato to the PresentWeakness of Will in Renaissance and Reformation ThoughtWelfare and Rational CareWhat Are We?What Art IsWhat Emotions Really AreWhat Good Are the Arts?What If Medicine Disappeared?What Is a Human?What Is an Emotion: Classic and Contemporary ReadingsWhat Is Good and WhyWhat Is Medicine?What is Mental Disorder?What Is Posthumanism?What Is Secular Humanism?What Is the Good Life?What is the Self?What Is This Thing Called Happiness?What Is Thought?What Makes Us Think?What Nietzsche Really SaidWhat Should I Believe?What Should I Do?What We Owe to Each OtherWhat Would Aristotle Do?What's Good on TVWhat's Wrong with Children's RightsWhat's Wrong With Science?When Self-Consciousness BreaksWhere Biology Meets PsychologyWhere the Action IsWhere the Roots Reach for WaterWhispers from the EastWho Rules in ScienceWho Was Jacques Derrida?Who's in Charge?Whose Freud?Why Everyone (Else) Is a HypocriteWhy God Won't Go AwayWhy Read Mill Today?Why the Mind is Not a ComputerWhy Things Matter to PeopleWhy Think?Why Think? Why Truth MattersWhy We DanceWider than the SkyWilliam Blake on Self and SoulWilliam James at the BoundariesWilliam James on Ethics and FaithWilling, Wanting, WaitingWisdom Won from IllnessWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWise TherapyWitchcrazeWithin ReasonWithout ConscienceWittgensteinWittgenstein and Approaches To ClarityWittgenstein And PsychologyWittgenstein and PsychotherapyWittgenstein on Freud and FrazerWittgenstein Reads FreudWittgenstein Reads WeiningerWomen, Body, IllnessWomen, Madness and MedicineWords and ImagesWorld, Affectivity, TraumaWritten in the FleshYoga - Philosophy for EveryoneYour Drug May Be Your ProblemZizekZombies and Consciousness
This book contains a collection of 14 previously published pieces spanning some 20 years. Prof. Holt prefaces that they are stand alone pieces (which, however, doesn't quite exclude an expectation of consistency, one should think) and divides them into two halves, one headed 'Foundations', the other 'Extentions'. And duality attacks the drone tone of Holt's opus. It is a highly provocative book; I shall explain why. It is because he advances many controversial theses.
Holt asserts that no current art and aesthetic theory does proper justice to the standard trio, artist-work-audience (I actually don't recall any art or aesthetic theory that excludes either of the three), and therefore offers his "Comprehensivist Theory of Art" that does so, the main points of which seem to be these (unless all I get he'd consider "epiquotations", cf. his recent so-titled paper in Evental Aesthetics (2016)). The artist is indispensable, he brings the work into being (p. 34) (also the "creative process", p. 4), "a product's being the objectification of the mental states causally contributory to its production", (p. 20); the artist's "act of expression can be seen as the objectification of what is expressed" (ibid.), and "the expressive act of artmaking as an attempt to realize a vision", (p. 11) (also termed "antecedent creative vision", p. 39); the artwork then is defined to be "an artifact that provides for aesthetic experience via perceptually available properties", (p. 61); and finally the trio is completed by the audience being moved by the expressed (passim) in a duet with "isomorphism" "between the artist's process of creating the visual "puzzle" of the work and the viewer's experience of "solving" it", (p. 78). Since the 'aesthetic experience' is essential (to both artist and audience) one of Holt's descriptions goes "It's a particular pleasure associated with the appreciation of art and beauty ["or better, the aesthetically piquant", p. 88] ... The pleasures, the thoughts and feelings that come in actively appreciating these works of art, that's what gives the experience an aesthetic quality ... At the same time, there's a kind of intensity of response in appreciating art, a keenness of attention, more focused and significant than in most ordinary experiences ... what is so rewarding ... is that it resolves internal conflicts, with intellectual and emotional responses in harmonious balance, in sharp contrast to everyday life", (p. 179). Holt designates them 'resolutive experiences' (p. 62) -- and explains them to be the resolutions of the postulated constant or perpetual 'conflict' between this and that brain function, between intellectual and emotional reactions. The duality and its obviation -- reminiscent of the Kantian free play of the faculties (reduced by one), the imagination in harmony with the understanding -- runs throughout Holt's reasonings and, extended in the applied half to the popular arts, his interpretations. Despite his claim to comprehensiveness, Holt says nothing about aesthetic qualities. It's the (maker's and receiver's) experience that has aesthetic quality, not the work, "a thing", (p. 179); the work is left behind in the obscurity of a mere provider of perceptual availability.
If this theory or set of theories strikes you, however urbanely written, as so many somewhat tired idioms, you already sense the difficulties provoked. For one thing, it reminds an awful lot of an expression theory in not-so-new clothes and as well of the aged empathy theories (no mention of ejection dittos) with all their weaknesses and attending problems -- a major one of which is the de-puzzling of 'expressions', ("de-maze" would have to be Vernon Lee's term, not amazing) certainly when conjoined with his silence about the affective and pathetic fallacies or ... he just doesn't care. But further and no less serious is the facile inclusion of an unexplained tie to the unanalysed concept of 'pleasure', involvement of which may be so ingrown traditional, so complacently integrated, absorbed into the prevailing mindset and vernacular as to bypass everybody's attention. The particular use of 'causation' is definitely in dire need of explication, as is indeed 'objectification'. That is, e.g., how are mental states, or visions for that matter, by all accounts and measures not objects, transported (probably in the archaic or base sense of entranced) into an object, ex-pressed into or onto an object? Does that have any meaning or is it rather an absurdity like the "objectified" (and perceptual features of) 'square root', 'golden mountains', 'Santa Claus', etc.? How is one to decide visions are 'creative' prior to the (attempted) making? Are audiences that keen only on expressions? on isomorph "processing"? and more loose ends.
Perhaps to forestall adversity of such comments, Holt leans comfortably on selected (groups of) precursors, maybe on Borges' hint, by mere mentioning to evoke legitimacy of his own continuation of recognized "tradition" (esp. e.g. p. 57, 61, 85); all the same, "other symbolic garb" is Holt's term for what he considers similar views not cast in his terminology, (p. 86).
Holt also holds and defends the 'death of the author' doctrine, which he equates with "the liberation of the reader" in the sense of polysemy, of wide openness of interpretation. It's one of the substantial papers in the collection in which he argues that Barthes and Foucault are insufficient and proposes a replacement -- still a doctrine bluntly incompatible with the isomorphy thesis. Holt has no doubt that "there are thoroughly bad works" (p. 69), nor any "that perfectly awful works satisfy aesthetic interest in some sense" (ibid.), and audiences are granted freedom of interpretation, they can do as they please, they are "concerned only with maximizing their own aesthetic experience" (p. 40), "my interpretation is legit precisely because it increases my appreciation" (p. 138) -- in other words, hedonism in the Epicurean major key. Aristotle held that learning is pleasure, Nietzsche that nonsense is pleasure, etc., it becomes pressingly critical to say more, much more, about the concept of pleasure and then about how this "particular pleasure" is to be told apart from other ear-marked or general pleasures.
He contends that 'partworks', such as Michelangelo's nonfiniti, pose a touchstone for, not aesthetics, but for theories and definitions of art, then cuts that quandry short by stipulating the criterion of the artist "signing off" an item or not, a parallel to Krukowski's beginnings and ends of artworks (Art and Concept, Massachusetts UP, 1987, Ch. 4-6). However, if and when such "incomplete" works provide aesthetic experience, what, on Holt's definition, is then their problematic status? Another marginalia Holt surely can't have thought up except in jest is what he calls 'ex ante allusions' -- as the burden of this construct rests on two of his own novels.
Holt's orientation and methodology is to be classified as empirical. While his very sensible remark that the (has been) avant-garde is much overrated by most other current art theories and more so by it's implications for aesthetic theory (p. 62f), he at the same time insists that infiniti, the 'partworks', are a challenge to aesthetic theory (p. 8); both of these seem to imply that he considers art theory kind of a generalization, the category of art is to comprise all and only artworks, an issue that has to be sorted out by handling, juggling, parring examples and counterexamples (and carries on about whether the travesty "Fountain" is art?, whether Michelangelo's infiniti are art?, etc., etc.). The pleasures, if you will, of induction.
Further, Holt's empiricism descends into more sanguine scientism of the reductionist physicalist brand, an octave lower second drone, when he unreservedly signs on to the trendy school of "neuroaesthetics", without as much as an aside on the dualism built, packed, and stacked into his accounts so far. Yet, although Holt wishes to defend that enterprise against skeptics on philosophical grounds and wishes to showcase its promises, he all the same manages to highlight exactly its conceptual shortcomings. In short, this is how: the anatomical duality of the brain, higher cortex and diencephalon; the psychological duality of functions, the alleged labour division intellectual and emotional; the conflict of these dualities and its resolutive experience, implies at least three logical blunders: circuitry "activity" (deep structure, underlying nature) grounding aesthetic experience, match between two sets of garb, they go together this season; and correlation doesn't causation make (now the opposite way, not the mental state causing objectification (expressed expression), but circuitry becoming mental state, i.e. aesthetic experience) -- it's not duality pure and simple, it's dualism in the cartesian sense: resolution by calling one the deep structure of the other is mere naming the gap, neither bridging nor eliminating it -- except by fiat. (Once there was behaviourism, mental states are really conduct; now neuroism, mental states are really circuitry fire dances. What do you prefer ladies and gentlemen: appearances or screen images?). At a point in said induction, to escape having to face troublesome experiential uncertainties (such as people's denying being moved by masterpieces or, a case he also considers, so-called 'anti-artworks' do provide aesthetic experience, and the like) Holt resorts to the trampled down route to the unconscious (p. 87), subliminal "experience" (ibid. & p. 171). Maybe a bit fresh, but one must ask in which circuits the subconscious hibernates? -- on or off the fMRI and PET screens.
But it's obvious, isn't it, that detailing to any extent (say, down to the type and charge of the electron(s) involved) what goes on in circuitry when, say, listening to music tells you, if anything, merely what goes on in circuitry, in neuro-parts, when listening to music, not anything about music (nor why music does make it go on) -- what does that make us understand about music? Music is in the first place what aesthetics aims to investigate and explicate; whereas the neuropsychoaesthetic researcher presupposes, takes for granted, has already pre-selected pleasure of music. It provides as little understanding of music or aesthetic experience as H2O provides understanding of cleaning and sipping and thirsting or as vocal cords anatomy provides understanding of language and singing and whispering. Right, if you don't have a brain and vocal cords, you'll not have æsthetic experiences and sing, let alone interpret artworks. So some circuitry or other is active, so what? Postulating identity between 'resolutive experience', 'pleasure', and 'corticolimbic signature' is just garb matching. As Holt writes, "at an abstract level" (p. 83), exactly, they're mere representations, not facts. It's all well and good that one can combine two sets of representations, synthesize theories, and in that way widen the scope, unify the sciences -- unless, of course they harbour the same errors, conceptual flaws, or simply similar misunderstandings. Holt dismisses Ramachandran's conjecture, his version of mimesis theory, that all art is caricature (p. 84), it hasn't struck him to consider 'circuitry' and 'hardwire' (p. 74) are parodies of gray matter? or, when mechanics rather than electronics were in vogue, of skull aerobics?
The two halves do not ease gently together, having different character and topics. Holt having defended an aesthetic component/criterion involved in art definition in the first section, slides into the "cultural studies" of the popular arts, where indeed, like political comment, any interpretation is candy. He writes a piece each about his "idols", those in whose fan clubs he would sign up, if they have one, such as Allen, Cohen, Hemmingway, Hitchcock, and three on film genre(s), if they are such, noir and neo noir -- now he has no worry of partworks or unfinished or other subcategory art -- and, like in the partworks issue he searched for borders, he here searches for a "neo noir" genre's borders on the "classic noir" genre, and their relation(s) to realism and to reality; and here again the ping-pong of brain parts, of intellect and emotion, turns "applied" to horror movies and TV-series, and interpretation of such characters as a certain Hannibal Lecter (a kind of loon in the Jekyll-Hyde registry or a distillate of Des Esseintes, the myths of de Rais and de Sade) Holt finds "fascinating" (probably in the archaic or base sense of holding a charm). I have not "experienced" any of them, nor am I familiar with the plots recounted, nor actually would that be relevant as this is about Holt's essays.
This half thus deals mainly with what must indeed be the down side in aesthetics, cousin quasi-aesthetics, all that normally is denoted 'unaesthetic', namely the problems much in the wind these days of the "pleasures" of the ugly, gory, horrible, terrible, unpalatable, also known as the paradox of tragedy. Again an ancient echo, even the Archphilosopher felt compelled to write a manual for tragedy playwrights (never mind that Eco thought he also did a lost half for their comedy colleagues), the toublesome, to all appearances pervasive, general preference for tragedy, the alleged pleasure, gratification, enjoyment, or satisfaction in the dark sides of existence (like the pulp novels, whodunits, Triviallitteratur, the sensational bad news, fatal accidents, grand disasters, etc.) -- one is to imagine the Danaides' toilsome state of mind as aesthetic experience -- and here the "resolutive experience" gets strained beyond sense, it seems to me, when Holt interprets this Lecter, merciless wholesale killer as he describes him, is to be "enjoyed", for exactly that in combination with excessive aestheticism, ........ making purses of sow's ears. That kind of interpreation puts a rather bold question mark at, if not only, the psychological cogency of the Comprehensivist theory. Riding on an analogy, a "moral blindness" Holt explains: "Lecter's psychopathy is blended with an intelligence too brilliant to be lacking an understanding of moral issues. Rather ... he just doesn't care", (p. 181), a statement probably as close to nonsense as one can imagine or a gross misuse of the concept of 'understanding' (no need to imply moral determinism). Is extreme pedantry, "perfection", tantamount to taste, highly refined taste, deep sense of aesthetic experience? Psychological theories generally do take the contingencies, all the shades of human psyche into account, but from that concession there doesn't follow warrant to let them all shine gloriously, to make a hero of every blighter (as were we living in the sanctuary land of total egalitarianism).
Now to get into the gallery of just-so stories of evolutionism is a bit much for this occasion beyond mentioning that Holt adduces the mythic fantasy (p. 85) that the emotional is "evolutionarily older" and the intellectual is "evolutionarily newer", whence "the explosive evolution of the neocortex resulted in the human psyche being typified by deep conflict between reason and emotion" (short of mentioning holon) which explains the special value of aesthetic experience -- see, the brain didn't come around until long after they didn't have one -- wherefore he deems it plausible "that for all its advantages, cortical evolution is the very cause of many of precisely those psychological conflicts ... for which enjoying art ... is an effective, and perhaps the preeminent, means of resolution", (p. 88). So there you have it: Is this, as the title promised, the meaning of art?
Altogether a lively and engaging book that can bring the above and many more issues usefully up in any classroom, and the MIP is to be lauded for sending it out, while one still wants some more determined sense of what is philosophically salient, although it's currently hotly debated which kinds of empirical inputs are so.
© 2017 Lars Aagaard-Mogensen and Wassard Elea
Lars Aagaard-Mogensen and Wassard Elea