“What is appreciation?” is a basic question in the philosophy of art, and the analogy between appreciating a work of art and getting a joke can help us answer it. We first propose a subjective account of aesthetic appreciation (I). Then we consider jokes (II). The difference between getting a joke and not, or what it is to get it right, can often be objectively articulated. Such explanations cannot substitute for the joke itself, and indeed may undermine the very power (...) of the joke to evoke an appropriate response. Sometimes the discourse of art critics can have a similar effect. We therefore explore the analogy between getting jokes and appreciating works of art (III), and find it unexpectedly strong. Finally (IV), we consider Wittgensteinian grounds for thinking as we do, considering the language game of joke-telling, the relevance of seeing aspects, and giving reasons. (shrink)
Hume, despite his disapproval of societies which enslave women, admits females to 'the rights and privileges of society' only from 'humanity' and on the strength of their 'charms'. It is argued that hume's understanding of this inequality is based on the doctrine that different virtues–physical, moral and intellectual–are appropriate to the different sexes, and that in general it is males who are and deserve to be the proprietors of families.
Plato's Euthyphro is a dialogue about the virtue of piety. It is also one of the aporetic dialogues, ending in apparent failure to discover what piety is. It is common to understand the dialogue as teaching lessons about other things, about definition, for instance, or about the logic of refutation. About piety, however, it is thought to teach us only negatively, showing a few of the many things which piety is not.My thesis, on the contrary, is that there is a (...) positive account of the nature of piety in the dialogue; it is, moreover, an account which cannot be separated from the other lessons which the dialogue teaches. I shall find it necessary to expose the structure of the logical lessons in order to develop my account of the holy. (shrink)