• Aesthetics,  Art

    Feelings and Film

    Consider the following scenario: you are watching a movie in which a character, S, is in great peril. You fear for the life of S knowing that there is no such person and no real peril. Are you being irrational? After all, there is nothing to be afraid of. Perhaps, instead, you aren’t really scared. You’d feel completely differently if you were in peril and the peril was real. You certainly wouldn’t place yourself in peril for fun. Perhaps you are experiencing something like fear for S but not real fear. Still, it certainly feels like fear. Further, it isn’t the case that you’d never enjoy real fear. People pay…

  • Aesthetics,  Art,  History of Ideas

    Art: Crisis, Creativity, and Christianity

    In the early part of the twentieth century, a crisis took place in the art world. Objects that were not beautiful were hung in galleries as art. Most famously, in 1917, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) submitted a urinal to an exhibition in New York. His piece was called “Fountain” (1917). If that could be considered art, then surely anything can be. The art crisis provoked questions. What counts as art? What is the nature of art? What makes it valuable? Definition of Art What kinds of objects count as art? Think of as many pieces of art as you can. You will probably come up with a list that includes things like paintings,…