Moral Conflicts


Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, has been interviewed for Philosophy Bites. You can listen to it here. The philosopher begins by discussing moral relativism and disagreement, and then argues for his own position known as quasi-realist.

Video Games as Art?


It is not something that I am interested in researching, but it is intriguing. I do not play video games and know little about them and yet I think this is far from an irrelevant question. We have to consider the limits — and even the limitations — of the definitions of art to attempt an answer.

Aaron Smuts approaches the most important issues raised by this question in his short article “Video Games and the Philosophy of Art”.

Here are two excerpts:

The most salient feature of the debate is the absence of the most common criticism of mass art — the passivity charge. Given the interactive nature of video games, there is simply no room for the charge of passivity. Video game players are anything but mentally or intellectually passive during typical game play for, as Collingwood might put it, video games are possibly the first concreative, mechanically reproduced form of art: they are mass artworks shaped by audience input. Interactivity marks a crucial distinction between decidedly non-interactive mass art forms such as film, novels, and recorded music and new interactive mass art forms. Sadly, this important distinction has yet to be examined in any satisfactory manner.

[...] Although Kantian aesthetics puts play as one of the central features of aesthetic experience, relatively little has been written on the relationship between art, play, and games. As a result, if we were to consider some video games as art, it is not clear just what kind of art they would be. Perhaps, games are more like performative artworks where the artwork is intended for the performers. However, since philosophical aesthetics has almost ignored the aesthetic experience of artists and the performers of artworks, such a classification would shed little light.

The Invention of Art


Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers.

OCTAVIO PAZ, Alternating Current

We Are Permanent Learners


We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state.