Covering the issue

Sun 17 Feb 2013 10:10 AM

My paper on cover songs, coauthored with Cristyn Magnus and Christy Mag Uidhir, was recently accepted at The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. We have now submitted our final draft.

I will now have four published articles in aesthetics, enough to count as a research programme if you squint a bit. Since my primary work is in philosophy of science, this might make me seem like a dilettante. If this just means that I have lots of interests, I do. It's what Eric Schwitzgebel recently called trusting your sense of fun. But the strict meaning of "dilettante" is someone who dips into different areas without really knowing what's going on, and that's not what I do. Trusting your sense of fun can mean publishing in diverse areas, rather than narrowly in one area of specialization, but it is compatible with engaging intelligently with those areas.

Moreover, a number of my papers have explicitly applied lessons from philosophy of science to philosophy of art: Pluralism about species in philosophy of biology provides a model for pluralism about art. Musical works understood as historical individuals are best seen as Homeostatic Property Clusters.

At a more general level, I think there is a natural connection between my interests in philosophy of science and my interests in philosophy of art. Considering scientific realism or natural kinds, I want to know what we should really think the world is like given that we tend to accept science. Asking what the world is like, given that we appreciate music, is not so different. I discuss this approach a bit in chapter 4 of my book, but it is more a way of going forward than a spelled-out doctrine.