As far as I know, the blogosphere has never had a blog devoted to philosophical aesthetics. Other areas of philosophy are well-represented but not aesthetics, despite the fact that aesthetics is a promising topic for engagement between philosophers and the general public.
But that gap has been closed this week with the launch of Aesthetics for Birds, a blog that will consist of posts and interviews featuring artists as well as philosophers. The title is inspired by the quip from the artist Barnett Newman—“Aesthetics is for the artist as ornithology is for the birds.” Newman was skeptical that the study of art would be interesting or useful to artists. I had no idea that artists were as unreflective as birds. Perhaps Newman’s quip was a revealing bit of autobiography.
At any rate, the site administered by Professor Christy Mag Uidhir, will be a test case of whether dialogue between artists and philosophers will be useful. I am grateful that there will now be more blog discussions of aesthetics.
The first post by Jesse Prinz (CUNY) is up. He argues that it is characteristic of art that it produces a distinctive kind of experience in the viewer or listener (I would add taster as well) and considers wonder as a central element of that experience.
I’ll have some remarks about “wonder” and the edible arts shortly.