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Jon Robson
Nottingham University
  1. Aesthetic Testimony.Jon Robson - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (1):1-10.
    It is frequently claimed that we can learn very little, if anything, about the aesthetic character of an artwork on the basis of testimony. Such disparaging assessments of the epistemic value of aesthetic testimony contrast markedly with our acceptance of testimony as an important source of knowledge in many other areas. There have, however, been a number of challenges to this orthodoxy of late; from those who seek to deny that such a contrast exists as well as attempts by those (...)
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  2. An Absolutist Theory of Faultless Disagreement in Aesthetics.Carl Baker & Jon Robson - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3):429-448.
    Some philosophers writing on the possibility of faultless disagreement have argued that the only way to account for the intuition that there could be disagreements which are faultless in every sense is to accept a relativistic semantics. In this article we demonstrate that this view is mistaken by constructing an absolutist semantics for a particular domain – aesthetic discourse – which allows for the possibility of genuinely faultless disagreements. We argue that this position is an improvement over previous absolutist responses (...)
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  3. A mereological challenge to endurantism.Nikk Effingham & Jon Robson - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):633 – 640.
    In this paper, we argue that time travel is problematic for the endurantist. For it appears to be possible, given time travel, to construct a wall out of a single time travelling brick. This commits the endurantist to one of the following: (a) the wall is composed of the time travelling brick many times over; (b) the wall does not in fact exist at all; (c) the wall is identical to the brick. We argue that each of these options is (...)
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  4. Video Games as Self‐Involving Interactive Fictions.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):165-177.
    This article explores the nature and theoretical import of a hitherto neglected class of fictions which we term ‘self-involving interactive fictions’. SIIFs are interactive fictions, but they differ from standard examples of interactive fictions by being, in some important sense, about those who consume them. In order to better understand the nature of SIIFs, and the ways in which they differ from other fictions, we focus primarily on the most prominent example of the category: video-game fictions. We argue that appreciating (...)
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  5. A social epistemology of aesthetics: belief polarization, echo chambers and aesthetic judgement.Jon Robson - 2014 - Synthese 191 (11):2513-2528.
    How do we form aesthetic judgements? And how should we do so? According to a very prominent tradition in aesthetics it would be wrong to form our aesthetic judgements about a particular object on the basis of anything other than first-hand acquaintance with the object itself (or some very close surrogate) and, in particular, it would be wrong to form such judgements merely on the basis of testimony. Further this tradition presupposes that our actual practice of forming aesthetic judgements typically (...)
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  6. Video Games as Self-Involving Interactive Fictions.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):165-177.
    This article explores the nature and theoretical import of a hitherto neglected class of fictions which we term ‘self-involving interactive fictions’. SIIFs are interactive fictions, but they differ from standard examples of interactive fictions by being, in some important sense, about those who consume them. In order to better understand the nature of SIIFs, and the ways in which they differ from other fictions, we focus primarily on the most prominent example of the category: video-game fictions. We argue that appreciating (...)
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  7. Speculative Aesthetic Expressivism.Neil Sinclair & Jon Robson - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics (2):181-197.
    In this paper we sketch a new version of aesthetic expressivism. We argue that one advantage of this view is that it explains various putative norms on the formation and revision of aesthetic judgement. We begin by setting out our proposed explananda and a sense in which they can be understood as governing the correct response to putative higher-order evidence in aesthetics. We then summarise some existing discussions of expressivist attempts to explain these norms, and objections raised to them. This (...)
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  8. Norms of Belief and Norms of Assertion in Aesthetics.Jon Robson - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    Why is it that we cannot legitimately make certain aesthetic assertions – for instance that ‘Guernica is harrowing’ or that ‘The Rite of Spring is strangely beautiful’ – on the basis of testimony alone? In this paper I consider a species of argument intended to demonstrate that the best explanation for the impermissibility of such assertions is that a particular view of the norms of aesthetic belief – pessimism concerning aesthetic testimony – is correct. I begin by outlining the strongest (...)
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  9. Aesthetic Testimony and the Norms of Belief Formation.Jon Robson - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):750-763.
    Unusability pessimism has recently emerged as an appealing new option for pessimists about aesthetic testimony—those who deny the legitimacy of forming aesthetic beliefs on the basis of testimony. Unusability pessimists argue that we should reject the traditional pessimistic stance that knowledge of aesthetic matters is unavailable via testimony in favour of the view that while such knowledge is available to us, it is unusable. This unusability stems from the fact that accepting such testimony would violate an important non-epistemic norm of (...)
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  10. Taste and Acquaintance.Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (2):127-139.
    The analogy between gustatory taste and critical or aesthetic taste plays a recurring role in the history of aesthetics. Our interest in this article is in a particular way in which gustatory judgments are frequently thought to be analogous to critical judgments. It appears obvious to many that to know how a particular object tastes we must have tasted it for ourselves; the proof of the pudding, we are all told, is in the eating. And it has seemed just as (...)
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  11. A Critical Introduction to the Metaphysics of Time.Benjamin L. Curtis & Jon Robson - 2016 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
    What is the nature of time? Does it flow? Do the past and future exist? Drawing connections between historical and present-day questions, A Critical Introduction to the Metaphysics of Time provides an up-to-date guide to one of the most central and debated topics in contemporary metaphysics. Introducing the views and arguments of Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Newton and Leibniz, this accessible introduction covers the history of the philosophy of time from the Pre-Socratics to the beginning of the 20th Century. The (...)
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  12. Aesthetic Testimony and the Test of Time.Jon Robson - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):729-748.
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  13.  28
    The Social Epistemology of Legal Trials.Jon Robson & Zachary Hoskins - 2021 - Routledge.
    "This collection is the first book-length examination of the various epistemological issues underlying legal trials. Trials are, among other things, centrally concerned with determining truth: whether a criminal defendant has in fact culpably committed the act of which they are accused, or whether a civil defendant is in fact responsible for the damages alleged by the plaintiff. But are trials truth-conducive? Assessing the value of trials as truth-seeking endeavors requires that we consider a host of underlying social epistemological questions. The (...)
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  14. Fiction and Fictional Worlds in Videogames.Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson - 2012 - In J. R. Sageng, T. M. Larsen & H. Fossheim (eds.), The Philosophy of Computer Games. Springer. pp. 201-18.
  15. Is perception the canonical route to aesthetic judgement?Jon Robson - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-12.
    It is commonplace amongst philosophers of art to make claims which postulate important links between aesthetics and perception. In this paper, I focus on one such claim: that perception is the canonical route to aesthetic judgement. I consider a range of prima facie plausible interpretations of this claim and argue that they each fail to identify any important link between aesthetic judgement and perception. Given this, I conclude that we have good reason to be sceptical of the claim that perception (...)
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  16. A-Time to Die: A Growing Block Account of the Evil of Death.Jon Robson - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):911-925.
    In this paper I argue that the growing block theory of time has rather surprising, and hitherto unexplored, explanatory benefits when it comes to certain enduring philosophical puzzles concerning death. In particular, I claim the growing block theorist has readily available and convincing answers to the following questions: Why is it an evil to be dead but not an evil to be not yet born? How can death be an evil for the dead if they no longer exist to suffer (...)
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  17. Deep Indeterminacy in Physics and Fiction.George Darby, Martin Pickup & Jon Robson - 2017 - In Otávio Bueno, Steven French, George Darby & Dean Rickles (eds.), Thinking About Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together. Routledge.
    Indeterminacy in its various forms has been the focus of a great deal of philosophical attention in recent years. Much of this discussion has focused on the status of vague predicates such as ‘tall’, ‘bald’, and ‘heap’. It is determinately the case that a seven-foot person is tall and that a five-foot person is not tall. However, it seems difficult to pick out any determinate height at which someone becomes tall. How best to account for this phenomenon is, of course, (...)
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  18.  47
    Aesthetic Autonomy and Self-Aggrandisement.Jon Robson - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:3-28.
    You're not as clever as you think you are. Nor for that matter are you as good a driver, teacher or romantic partner as you take yourself to be and, as if that wasn't bad enough, you are also considerably less popular than you have hitherto believed. Finally – and crucially for the argument of this paper – I contend that your abilities as an aesthetic judge are considerably less impressive than you take them to be. To avoid descending into (...)
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  19.  27
    Is Perception the Canonical Route to Aesthetic Judgment?Jon Robson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):657-668.
    ABSTRACTIt is commonplace amongst philosophers of art to make claims that postulate important links between aesthetics and perception. In this paper, I focus on one such claim—that perception is the canonical route to aesthetic judgment. I consider a range of prima facie plausible interpretations of this claim, and argue that each fails to identify any important link between aesthetic judgment and perception. Given this, I conclude that we have good reason to be sceptical of the claim that perception is in (...)
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  20. Moral Testimony as Higher Order Evidence.Marcus Lee, Jon Robson & Neil Sinclair - 2021 - In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher-Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. Routledge.
    Are the circumstances in which moral testimony serves as evidence that our judgement-forming processes are unreliable the same circumstances in which mundane testimony serves as evidence that our mundane judgement-forming processes are unreliable? In answering this question, we distinguish two possible roles for testimony: (i) providing a legitimate basis for a judgement, (ii) providing (‘higher-order’) evidence that a judgement-forming process is unreliable. We explore the possibilities for a view according to which moral testimony does not, in contrast to mundane testimony (...)
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  21.  67
    Videogames and the Moving Image.Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson - 2010 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4:547-564.
  22. Still Self-Involved: A Reply to Patridge.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (2):184-187.
  23. Videogames and the First Person.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2012 - In G. Currie, P. Kotako & M. Pokorny (eds.), Mimesis: Metaphysics, Cognition, Pragmatics. College Publishing.
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  24. Do possible worlds compromise God’s beauty? A reply to Mark Ian Thomas Robson.Jon Robson - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (4):515 - 532.
    In a recent article Mark Ian Thomas Robson argues that there is a clear contradiction between the view that possible worlds are a part of God's nature and the theologically pivotal, but philosophically neglected, claim that God is perfectly beautiful. In this article I show that Robson's argument depends on several key assumptions that he fails to justify and as such that there is reason to doubt the soundness of his argument. I also demonstrate that if Robson's argument were sound (...)
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  25.  49
    Religious fictionalism and the problem of evil.Jon Robson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):353-360.
    The problem of evil is typically presented as a problem – sometimes the problem – facing theistic realists. This article takes no stance on what effect (if any) the existence of evil has on the rationality of theistic belief. Instead, it explores the possibility of using the problem of evil to generate worries for some of those who reject theistic realism. Although this article focuses on the consequences for a particular kind of religious fictionalist, the lessons adduced are intended to (...)
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  26. Analyzing Aseity.Sarah Adams & Jon Robson - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):251-267.
    The doctrine of divine aseity has played a significant role in the development of classical theism. However, very little attention has been paid in recent years to the question of how precisely aseity should be characterized. We argue that this neglect is unwarranted since extant characterizations of this central divine attribute quickly encounter difficulties. In particular, we present a new argument to show that the most widely accepted contemporary account of aseity is inconsistent. We then consider the prospects for developing (...)
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  27.  15
    Authenticity and Implicature.Gregory Currie & Jon Robson - 2023 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 81 (3):387-391.
    In her book Things, Carolyn Korsmeyer argues that authenticity or what she often calls “genuineness” is “an aesthetically salient property” (2019, 34), a proper.
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  28.  18
    Over-Appreciating Appreciation.Rebecca Wallbank & Jon Robson - 2022 - In Jeremy Wyatt, Julia Zakkou & Dan Zeman (eds.), Perspectives on Taste. New York: Routledge. pp. 40-57.
    Aestheticians have had a great deal to say recently in praise of (aesthetic) appreciation. This enthusiastic appreciation for appreciation may seem unsurprising given the important role it plays in many of our aesthetic practices, but we maintain that some prominent aestheticians have overstated the role of appreciation (and, perhaps more importantly, understated the role of other elements we will discuss) when it comes to the exercise of aesthetic taste. This is not, of course, to deny the obvious fact that appreciation (...)
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  29.  83
    Does absence make atheistic belief grow stronger?Sarah Adams & Jon Robson - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):49-68.
    Discussion of the role which religious experience can play in warranting theistic belief has received a great deal of attention within contemporary philosophy of religion. By contrast, the relationship between experience and atheistic belief has received relatively little focus. Our aim in this paper is to begin to remedy that neglect. In particular, we focus on the hitherto under-discussed question of whether experiences of God’s absence can provide positive epistemic status for a belief in God’s nonexistence. We argue that there (...)
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  30. Comics and Ethics.Jon Robson - forthcoming - In F. Bramlett, R. Cook & A. Meskin (eds.), Routledge Companion to Comics and Graphic Novels. Routledge.
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  31.  25
    Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind.Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin & Jon Robson (eds.) - 2014 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    How far should philosophical accounts of the value and interpretation of art be sensitive to the scientific approaches used by psychologists, sociologists, and evolutionary thinkers? A team of experts urge different answers to this question, and explore how empirical inquiry can shed light on problems traditionally regarded as philosophical.
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  32.  5
    On the Ontology of Screens and Screen Creatures.Jon Robson - 2023 - Constructivist Foundations 18 (3):399-400.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The World of Screen Creatures” by Bin Liu. Abstract: Bin Liu’s target article “The World of Screen Creatures” proposes a new constructivist understanding of our relationship to the (apparent) external world. While there is much that is interesting and innovative in Liu’s account, I suggest that there are some key points for clarification that would help readers to be better able to weigh the merits of his account against its rivals.
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  33.  8
    Aesthetic Testimony: An Optimistic Approach.Jon Robson - 2022 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Aesthetic judgements formed on the basis of testimony are commonly held to be defective, illegitimate, or otherwise problematic. This first book-length treatment of the debate surrounding aesthetic testimony argues for the surprising conclusion that this widespread view is mistaken. Aesthetic testimony is in no way inferior as a source of judgement when compared to either first-hand aesthetic judgement, or testimony concerning non-aesthetic matters. Alongside establishing this position (an extreme form of ‘optimism concerning aesthetic testimony’) this work also responds to the (...)
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  34.  3
    Does Veronica Trust Anyone?Jon Robson - 2014 - In George Dunn & James South (eds.), Veronica Mars and Philosophy. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 109-22.
    Veronica Mars's hometown harbors a whole range of social ills. Neptune provides a very poor environment for nurturing trusting relationships. A typical resident of Neptune may quite reasonably be reluctant ever to trust fully his or her neighbors, co‐workers, and even closest friends. Veronica Mars is a far from being a typical resident of Neptune. Veronica is atypical in ways that should make her even less trusting than others in Neptune. It seems that there are some people whom Veronica genuinely (...)
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  35.  75
    Heidegger and Analytic Philosophy: Together at Last?Jon Robson - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (3):482-487.
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  36.  30
    Hud Hudson: The Fall and Hypertime, Oxford University Press 2014.Jon Robson - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (2):244-248.
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    The Aesthetics of Videogames.Jon Robson & Grant Tavinor (eds.) - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    This collection of essays is devoted to the philosophical examination of the aesthetics of videogames. Videogames represent one of the most significant developments in the modern popular arts, and it is a topic that is attracting much attention among philosophers of art and aestheticians. As a burgeoning medium of artistic expression, videogames raise entirely new aesthetic concerns, particularly concerning their ontology, interactivity, and aesthetic value. The essays in this volume address a number of pressing theoretical issues related to these areas, (...)
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  38.  31
    Videogames and Film.Jon Robson & Aaron Meskin - 2019 - In Noël Carroll, Laura T. Di Summa & Shawn Loht (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of the Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures. Springer. pp. 971-994.
    This chapter explores a range of significant similarities and differences between videogames and films. It also examines the relationship between the philosophies of each. We begin by addressing the definition of videogames and the question of whether they count as a subcategory of some other artistic kind, namely, film or the moving image. We then turn to the debate about the art status of videogames and compare this to the debate concerning the art status of films. We go on to (...)
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  39.  1
    “You Know the Rules!” What's Wrong with The Man Upstairs?Jon Robson - 2017 - In William Irwin & Roy T. Cook (eds.), LEGO® and Philosophy. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley. pp. 49–58.
    The key to understanding what is problematic about The Man's behavior lies in considering his inflexible attitude toward following a particular kind of rule: the construction instructions accompanying his various LEGO sets. The Man treats the LEGO instructions he is following—which clearly have, at best, the status of conventional, rather than moral, rules—in a manner fitting only for moral requirements. To understand the severity of The Man's mistake, people need only contrast his attitude with that of Emmet Brickowoski at the (...)
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  40.  16
    Artworld Metaphysics, by Robert Kraut. [REVIEW]Jon Robson - 2014 - Mind 123 (492):1201-1205.
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    The Art of Comics—A Philosophical Approach. [REVIEW]Jon Robson - 2013 - British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (4):ayt001.
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