Current Papers

Considering Art Pluralism

In an important attempt to keep the philosophical discussion regarding the nature of art alive, Christy Mag Udihir and P.D. Magnus (2011) argue for art pluralism—the thesis that there are multiple, legitimate accounts of art—on the basis of analogous arguments for species pluralism. The main goal of this paper is to introduce and consider the thesis, along with species pluralism which provides us with our important analogous base. After discussing both species and art pluralism, I criticize the arguments provided by Mag Uidhir and Magnus and go on to provide a stronger, direct argument for art pluralism. I demonstrate the benefits of accepting accepting art pluralism but concede that all we have really achieved with the pluralist arguments is that both art and species are complex kinds; the nature of the pluralisms require further exploration.

Complex Kinds & Varieties of Pluralism: Pushing the Analogy between Species and Art Pluralism

Recently, philosophers of art have argued for art pluralism—the thesis that there are multiple, legitimate accounts of art—on the basis of analogous arguments for species pluralism. Previously, I have claimed that the only interesting and useful conclusion of these arguments—and any other similar arguments for pluralism—is that the corresponding kind is complex. In this paper, I explain the nature of complex kinds and describe their relationship to pluralist frameworks. I introduce new tools for explaining the intricacy of the world we exist within and then utilize these tools to reframe the most plausible species pluralist framework. The goal is to examine whether or not art is complex in the same way that species is. If this analogy continues to hold, it makes sense to appropriate the species pluralist framework to explain the nature of art. However, as I illustrate, art and species are not complex in the same way and we must seek out a different framework with which to precisify art pluralism.

Please email me at rvm@mit.edu to recieve PDFs of my current papers.