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What is a “Work of Art”?

April 24 @ 10:30 AM 11:30 AM

Sandy Goldberg, Ph.D, Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University, will speak on the topic, What Is a “Work of Art”?  He addresses the challenge of defining “art” and “work of art.”  Dr. Goldberg briefly explores the main theories and characterizes their virtues and drawbacks.  He will discuss distinct kinds of works of art, and how the variety might pose problems for the definition we seek. Finally, he concludes with the remaining questions that derive from our attempts at definition, including metaphysical questions (As a work of art, what exactly is Beethoven’s 9th symphony?), epistemological questions (How can we tell if something is a work of art?), and questions of aesthetic value (“That’s art? My kid can do that!”)

Dr. Goldberg works in the areas of Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, and Philosophy of Mind. His interests in Epistemology include such topics as reliabilism, the epistemology of testimony, the theory of epistemic justification, social epistemology, self-knowledge, and skepticism.  In the Philosophy of Mind and Language, his interests center on the individuation of the propositional attitudes, externalist theories of mental content and linguistic meaning, the semantics of speech and attitude reports, and speech act theory.  Goldberg holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.  A good sample of his work can be found in his five recent books, Anti-Individualism (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Relying on Others (Oxford University Press, 2010), Assertion (Oxford University Press, 2015), To the Best of Our Knowledge (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Conversational Pressure (Oxford University Press, 2020).

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