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Nick Riggle
University of San Diego
  1. Toward a Communitarian Theory of Aesthetic Value.Nick Riggle - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (1):16-30.
    Our paradigms of aesthetic value condition the philosophical questions we pose and hope to answer about it. Theories of aesthetic value are typically individualistic, in the sense that the paradigms they are designed to capture, and the questions to which they are offered as answers, center the individual’s engagement with aesthetic value. Here I offer some considerations that suggest that such individualism is a mistake and sketch a communitarian way of posing and answering questions about the nature of aesthetic value.
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  2. Aesthetic Value and the Practice of Aesthetic Valuing.Nick Riggle - forthcoming - The Philosophical Review.
    A theory of aesthetic value should explain what makes aesthetic value good. Current views about what makes aesthetic value good privilege the individual’s encounter with aesthetic value—listening to music, reading a novel, writing a poem, or viewing a painting. What makes aesthetic value good is its benefit to the individual appreciator. But engagement with aesthetic value is often a social, participatory matter: sharing and discussing aesthetic goods, imitating aesthetic agents, dancing, cooking, dining, or making music together. This article argues that (...)
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  3. Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value: Part I.Samantha Matherne & Nick Riggle - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (4):375-402.
    In his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, Friedrich Schiller draws a striking connection between aesthetic value and individual and political freedom, claiming that, ‘it is only through beauty that man makes his way to freedom’. However, contemporary ways of thinking about freedom and aesthetic value make it difficult to see what the connection could be. Through a careful reconstruction of the Letters, we argue that Schiller’s theory of aesthetic value serves as the key to understanding not only his (...)
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  4. Convergence, Community, and Force in Aesthetic Discourse.Nick Riggle - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (47).
    Philosophers often characterize discourse in general as aiming at some sort of convergence (in beliefs, plans, dispositions, feelings, etc.), and many views about aesthetic discourse in particular affirm this thought. I argue that a convergence norm does not govern aesthetic discourse. The conversational dynamics of aesthetic discourse suggest that typical aesthetic claims have directive force. I distinguish between dynamic and illocutionary force and develop related theories of each for aesthetic discourse. I argue that the illocutionary force of aesthetic utterances is (...)
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  5. On the Interest in Beauty and Disinterest.Nick Riggle - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16:1-14.
    Contemporary philosophical attitudes toward beauty are hard to reconcile with its importance in the history of philosophy. Philosophers used to allow it a starring role in their theories of autonomy, morality, or the good life. But today, if beauty is discussed at all, it is often explicitly denied any such importance. This is due, in part, to the thought that beauty is the object of “disinterested pleasure”. In this paper I clarify the notion of disinterest and develop two general strategies (...)
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  6.  88
    Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value: Part II.Samantha Matherne & Nick Riggle - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):17-40.
    In his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, Friedrich Schiller draws a striking connection between aesthetic value and individual and political freedom, claiming that, ‘it is only through beauty that man makes his way to freedom’. However, contemporary ways of thinking about freedom and aesthetic value make it difficult to see what the connection could be. Through a careful reconstruction of the Letters, we argue that Schiller’s theory of aesthetic value serves as the key to understanding not only his (...)
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  7. On the Aesthetic Ideal.Nick Riggle - 2015 - British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (4):433-447.
    How should we pursue aesthetic value, or incorporate it into our lives, if we want to? Is there an ideal of aesthetic life? Philosophers have proposed numerous answers to the analogous question in moral philosophy, but the aesthetic question has received relatively little attention. There is, in essence, a single view, which is that one should develop a sensibility that would give one sweeping access to aesthetic value. I challenge this view on two grounds. First, it threatens to undermine our (...)
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  8. Street Art: The Transfiguration of the Commonplaces.Nick Riggle - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (3):243-257.
    According to Arthur Danto, post-modern or post-historical art began when artists like Andy Warhol collapsed the Modern distinction between art and everyday life by bringing “the everyday” into the artworld. I begin by pointing out that there is another way to collapse this distinction: bring art out of the artworld and into everyday life. An especially effective way of doing this is to make street art, which, I argue, is art whose meaning depends on its use of the street. I (...)
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  9. Reading Guide for Schiller's Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man.Nick Riggle & Samantha Matherne - manuscript
    An abridged reading guide for Friedrich Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man, based on Matherne and Riggle's two-part paper, "Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value". -/- Part I: British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (4): 375-402. 2020 Part II: British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1): 17-40. 2021.
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  10. Aesthetic Life and Why It Matters.Dominic Lopes, Bence Nanay & Nick Riggle - 2022 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Bence Nanay & Nick Riggle.
    You have a complex and detailed aesthetic life. You make aesthetic decisions every day. You wake up, shower, and dress. When you decide what to wear, you think about how it feels and fits. You have aesthetic feelings and reactions every day. The sunset swings into view as you turn a corner and you think, “That’s beautiful.” A wave of calm and pleasure wash over you. You take a bite of cake and you think, “Wow, that’s sweet.” Maybe too sweet. (...)
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  11. Personal Style and Artistic Style.Nick Riggle - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):711-731.
    What is it for a person to have style? Philosophers working in action theory, ethics, and aesthetics are surprisingly quiet on this question. I begin by considering whether theories of artistic style shed any light on it. Many philosophers, artists, and art historians are attracted to some version of the view that artistic style is the expression of personality. I clarify this view and argue that it is implausible for both artistic style and, suitably modified, personal style. In fact, both (...)
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  12. Autonomy and Aesthetic Valuing.Nick Riggle - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (I).
    Accounts of aesthetic valuing emphasize two constraints on the formation of aesthetic belief. We must form our own aesthetic beliefs by engaging with aesthetic value first-hand (the acquaintance principle) and by using our own capacities (the autonomy principle). But why? C. Thi Nguyen’s proposal is that aesthetic valuing has an inverted structure. We often care about inquiry and engagement for the sake of having true beliefs, but in aesthetic engagement this is flipped: we care about arriving at good aesthetic beliefs (...)
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  13. Using the Street for Art: A Reply to Baldini.Nick Riggle - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):191-195.
    I reply to Andrea Baldini's critical discussion of my "Street Art: The Transfiguration of the Commonplaces" (2010) by taking up the question: what is "the street" in street art? I argue that the relevant notion of the street is a space whose function it is to facilitate self-expression. I show how this clarifies and extends the theory developed in Riggle (2010). I then argue, contra Baldini, that street art is not always subversive, and when it is, it is not always (...)
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  14. On Being Awesome: A Unified Theory of How Not to Suck.Nick Riggle - 2017 - New York: Penguin Books.
    I develop a theory of social virtue around the concept of a "social opening" and argue that a range of contemporary terms track various modes of success and failure with respect to social openings: ‘awesome’, ‘down’, ‘chill’, ‘sucks’, ‘wack’, ‘lame’, ‘douchebag’, and others. A basic idea is that the normative character of contemporary social life cannot be fully understood in traditional philosophical terms: ‘obligation’, ‘demand’, ‘duty’, ‘right’, ‘just’, ‘requirement’. ‘Sucks’ and ‘awesome’ (and their ilk) capture a special mode of interpersonal (...)
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  15.  37
    This Beauty: A Philosophy of Being Alive.Nick Riggle - 2022 - New York City: Basic Books.
    An acclaimed philosopher argues that living life to the fullest requires seeing life through the lens of beauty Say you and your friend often go hiking. One day, they propose that you go skydiving instead. You're wavering, and they deliver a rousing speech. They tell you, Come on, you only live once! You relent. Why? In This Beauty, philosopher Nick Riggle investigates the things we say to inspire each other and ourselves: seize the day, treat yourself, you only live once. (...)
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  16. Comments on Thi Nguyen’s Games: The Art of Agency.Nick Riggle - manuscript
    Comments on Thi Nguyen’s Games: The Art of Agency, delivered at the 2021 American Society for Aesthetics Annual Meeting in Montreal.
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  17. Transformative Expression.Nick Riggle - 2020 - In John Schwenkler & Enoch Lambert (eds.), Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. Oxford University Press. pp. 162-181.
    The hope that art could be personally or socially transformational is an important part of art history and contemporary art practice. In the twentieth century, it shaped a movement away from traditional media in an effort to make social life a medium. Artists imagined and created participatory situations designed to facilitate potentially transformative expression in those who engaged with the works. This chapter develops the concept of “transformative expression,” and illustrates how it informs a diverse range of such works. Understanding (...)
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  18. Personal Ideals as Metaphors.Nick Riggle - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (3):265-283.
    What is it to have and act on a personal ideal? Someone who aspires to be a philosopher might imaginatively think “I am a philosopher” by way of motivating herself to think hard about a philosophical question. But doing so seems to require her to act on an inaccurate self-description, given that she isn’t yet what she regards herself as being. J. David Velleman develops the thought that action-by-ideal involves a kind of fictional self-conception. My aim is to expand our (...)
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  19.  53
    Connecting Beauty and Love.Nick Riggle - forthcoming - In Alex King (ed.), Philosophy and Art: New Essays at the Intersection. Oxford University Press.
    In aesthetics there is a long tradition according to which beauty is the object of love. One construal of this suggests a sentimentalist theory of beauty: beauty just is the object of an emotion aptly described as love. The first step toward such a view would be to discern whether we can make sense of at least some kind of aesthetic affect as at least some kind of love. I suggest that we can by taking up a thought from Frank (...)
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  20. Artistic Style as the Expression of Ideals.Robert Hopkins & Nick Riggle - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (NO. 8):1-18.
    What is artistic style? In the literature one answer to this question has proved influential: the view that artistic style is the expression of personality. In what follows we elaborate upon and evaluatively compare the two most plausible versions of this view with a new proposal—that style is the expression of the artist’s ideals for her art. We proceed by comparing the views’ answers to certain questions we think a theory of individual artistic style should address: Are there limits on (...)
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  21. Street Art and Graffiti.Nick Riggle - 2014 - In Michael Kelly (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (2nd Edition). Oxford University Press.
    A brief overview of work on street art and graffiti.
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  22. Beauty and Love.Nick Riggle - 2014 - In Michael Kelly (ed.), Oxford Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. Oxford University Press.
    A brief history, overview, and assessment of the thesis that beauty is the object of love.
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  23. High five! Awesomeness as the Imperative of Our Time.Nick Riggle - 2016 - Aeon Magazine, 2/9/2016.
    Nearly every day we hear that something or someone is awesome or sucks. Are these just empty words meaning little more than “good” and “bad”? Or is there something more interesting or even important about our obsession with awesomeness and our fear of suckiness? What exactly is it to be awesome? What is it to suck? I sketch a way of thinking about awesomeness and suckiness and suggest that it illuminates what I call “the ethics of awesomeness.” .
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  24. Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value Part 2.Nick Riggle & Samantha Matherne - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics.
    In his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795), Friedrich Schiller draws a striking connection between aesthetic value and individual and political freedom, claiming that, “it is only through beauty that man makes his way to freedom.” However, contemporary ways of thinking about freedom and aesthetic value make it difficult to see what the connection could be. Through a careful reconstruction of the Letters, we argue that Schiller’s theory of aesthetic value serves as the key to understanding not only (...)
     
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  25. Understanding Aesthetic Life: Essays.Nick Riggle - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    A collection of my essays on aesthetic value and related topics.
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  26.  58
    MONTANO, ULIANOV. Explaining Beauty in Mathematics: An Aesthetic Theory of Mathematics. New York: Springer, 2014, 220 pp., $103.20 cloth. [REVIEW]Nick Riggle - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (4):418-420.
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  27. Review of Acts: Theater, Philosophy, and the Performing Self by Tzachi Zamir. [REVIEW]Nick Riggle - 2015 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 1 (1):1.
    Recent work at the intersection of philosophy of action and aesthetics has unearthed rich territory. We are deepening our appreciation for and understanding of the role of pretense, imagination, and narrative (to name a few) in human action and moral psychology. Tzachi Zamir’s book investigates a relatively unexplored locus of overlap between philosophy of action and aesthetics via a multifaceted and conceptually rich study of the art, ethics, and moral psychology of acting — topics that have received scant philosophical attention...
     
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