Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Leverhulme Research Professor in Aesthetics

Professor Dominic McIver Lopes, Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor in Aesthetics at Warwick, Jan-June 2012.

Dominic McIver Lopes, Distinguished University Scholar and Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, and one of the foremost aestheticians in the Anglophone analytic tradition of his generation, will be visiting Warwick between January and June 2012 as Leverhulme Research Professor in Aesthetics. More on his research can be found on his personal website here:

As part of his visit, Professor Lopes will be giving a series of "Leverhulme lectures" at universities and academic institutes around the UK. In addition he will teach a number of classes at Warwick, and extend his work in the Philosophy of Computer Art by hosting an online forum for artists, gamers and games theorists in conjunction with the Mead Gallery. He will also lead a research seminar on 'The Media of Photography' for Tate curatorial staff with Diarmuid Costello (Philosophy, Warwick) at Tate Modern to celebrate the publication of Costello & Lopes (eds.) 'The Media of Photography', a special issue of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (70:1, Winter 2012).

Culminating workshop

18 May 2012

Hard Cases: Art form, medium, and appreciative kind

Themes from the work of Dominic McIver Lopes


Diarmuid Costello (Philosophy/Warwick)

Sherri Irvin (Philosophy/Oklahoma)

Eileen John (Philosophy/Warwick)

Dom Lopes (Philosophy/ UBC)

Paul Smith (Art History/Warwick)

James Welling (Photography/UCLA, by video-link)

Full programme

The workshop will be held in the Cowling Room, Social Sciences 2.77, 11 am - 6 pm.

Please contact Eileen John ( if you are interested in attending the workshop.

Central to Professor Lopes's visit to Warwick will be a fortnightly reading group, meeting fortnightly on Weds 11-1 in term 2, and Fridays 3-5 pm of Weeks 1 and 3 in term 3, on his book in progress:

Dom Lopes, Beyond Art: The Foundations of Appreciation

A founding figure of contemporary philosophy of art opened his magnum opus by declaring that 'there would be no problems of aesthetics… if no one ever talked about works of art'. This sentiment comes to life in the large and prominent literature disputing theories of art, which are driven by certain avant-garde puzzle cases. How is Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased De Kooning Drawing art if a blank sheet of paper is not? How is John Cage’s 4ʹ33ʺ art when four and a half minutes of silence are not? Without a theory of art to answer these questions, it seems we could hardly begin to understand what it is to appreciate works of art. Thus theories of art have come to serve as the entry point to theories of appreciation in contemporary aesthetics. However, Beyond Art explores the hypothesis that it is a mistake to link theories of appreciation to theories of art, and it outlines an alternative approach to theories of appreciation of specific kinds of art, understood as 'medium-centred practices'. This approach has the surprising result that we can achieve a better understanding of works like Erased De Kooning Drawing and 4ʹ33ʺ if we view them not in relation to theories of art but to theories of appreciation in specific kinds of art.

Details of the reading group's meetings. If you would be interested in attending please contact the organizers, Diarmuid Costello or Eileen John in the Department of Philosophy. MS material for this group will be posted on these pages in due course. It is aimed primarily at Warwick faculty and PhD students, but we will consider other expressions of interest on their merit.