News and Events
Professor Diarmuid Costello Awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2023-4)
Professor Diarmuid Costello has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2023-4) to work on his next book project, a collection of essays provisionally titled Spurs to Thought: Philosophical Engagements with Contemporary Art.
Professor Costello says: "The goal of this research is two-fold: to demonstrate the remarkable capacity of selected works of contemporary art to function as spurs to philosophical reflection, if approached in the right spirit; and, in so doing, to establish the value of what I call “philosophical criticism” as an alternative to currently dominant methodologies in the philosophy of art, whether analytic or continental. The project brings this method to bear on the kind of contemporary works that often elicit hostility or confusion, so as to make clear the challenge that such works may implicitly pose to our unreflective understanding of normative concepts we make use of every day".
Professor Costello's previous, recently completed monograph, Aesthetics after Modernism will appear in 2024 with Oxford University Press (NYC) in Noël Carroll and Jesse Prinz’s ‘Thinking Art’ series.
"Aesthetics after Modernism argues for the ongoing relevance of aesthetics to appreciating art after modernism. It aims to show that even the hardest of “hard cases” remain amenable to aesthetic analysis on an adequate conception of the latter. The book traces the contrary view of much recent art criticism and theory to Clement Greenberg’s success in recruiting Kant’s aesthetics to underwrite a formalist conception of aesthetic value. This has led later theorists to miss the resources in the third Critique for understanding our cognitive relation to the kinds of art in which they are interested. It is widely assumed that Kant’s aesthetics cannot speak to the semantic dimension of art; I provide an interpretation of Kant’s theory of art, taking Conceptual Art as my test case, that suggests otherwise. If it can be shown that Kant’s aesthetics can accommodate the appreciation of art with no sensible features, then it should in principle be able to accommodate any kind of art".
New Publication by Dr David James: Property and its Forms in Classical German Philosophy, published by Cambridge University Press (2023)
In this new monograph, Dr David James explores the theories of property developed by four key philosophers in the German philosophical tradition: Kant, Fichte, Hegel and Marx. While these philosophers advance different theories of the nature of property and the rights that follow from it, all of them acknowledge the importance of social recognition for the question of what specific forms of property should exist in a society that is genuinely committed to the idea of freedom.
The theme of property and ownership is closely linked to many divisive social and political issues of today. In this book, Dr James analyses the nature and meaning of property and arguments for specific forms of property in such a way as to demonstrate their continuing relevance.
Congratulations to Kenneth Quek
Philosophy Undergraduate Kenneth Quek has had a paper published in the journal Logos, an undergraduate philosophy journal edited by Cornell University in the USA. Kenneth’s paper is called ‘Forgiveness: A Descriptive Analysis’. Kenneth summarises it as follows:
“Forgiveness features as a huge part of our moral lives, but very little work has been done to figure out just what it is and what it accomplishes. My paper aims to describe what, on a fundamental level, is involved when one forgives someone else.”
The paper was awarded the Top Prize out of 91 submissions and was the product of Kenneth’s Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) project on Forgiveness undertaken with Professor Fabienne Peter in the summer of 2021. Congratulations to Kenneth on this noteworthy achievement. Read the issue here:
New Publication: 'Nietzsche's 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' A Critical Guide'' Cambridge University Press (June 2022)
Keith Ansell-Pearson, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, has co-edited a new book with Paul S Loeb, Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ A Critical Guide, just published by Cambridge University Press. See here: https://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/philosophy/nineteenth-century-philosophy/nietzsches-thus-spoke-zarathustra-critical-guide?format=HB#contentsTabAnchor
In ‘Ecce Homo’, Nietzsche writes that his book ‘ Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ is the ‘greatest gift’ humanity has ever received - the ‘most elevated book’ with a ‘voice that spans over millennia’. Despite this, anglophone Nietzsche scholars have been somewhat reluctant to engage with the work he took to be his true masterpiece. Nietzsche regarded ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ as his most important philosophical contribution because it proposes solutions to the problems and questions he poses in his later books – for example, his cure for the human disposition to vengefulness and his creation of new values as the antidote to nihilism. It is also the only place where he elaborates his concepts of the superhuman and the eternal recurrence of the same. In this Critical Guide, an international group of distinguished scholars analyse the philosophical ideas in ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, discussing a range of topics that include literary parody as philosophical critique, philosophy as a way of life, the meaning of human life, philosophical naturalism, fatalism, radical flux, human passions and virtues, great politics, transhumanism, and ecological conscience. The volume will be invaluable for philosophers, scholas and students interested in Nietzsche’s thought.
New Publication: 'Value in Modernity, The Philosophy of Existential Modernism in Nietzsche, Scheler, Sartre and Musil' by Professor Peter Poellner
Peter Poellner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, has a new book published by Oxford University Press. In Value in Modernity, The Philosophy of Existential Modernism in Nietzsche, Scheler, Sartre, and Musil (OUP, April 2022), Professor Poellner presents an original and innovative reconstruction of a strand of philosophical modernism previously overlooked, and explores new interpretations of Nietzsche and Sartre and their ethical thought. Professor Poellner’s text also offers the first in depth interpretation in English of the philosophical centre of Musil’s The Man Without Qualities.
Value in Modernity - Peter Poellner - Oxford University Press (oup.com)