On the next Philosophy in Action Radio, I'll answer questions on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, living joyfully, defending abortion rights, and more. The live broadcast begins at 8 am PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET on Sunday, 20 April 2014. If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.


Art

  • Q&A: The Value of Horror Movies: 6 Feb 2014, Question 2
  • Question: Do horror movies or books have any redeeming value? In The Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand argued that horror was the worst genre of art, "belonging more to psychopathology than to esthetics." Is that right? Might a rational person find some value in a horror film or book? Don't some horror movies have heroic characters – such as Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator?

    Tags: Aesthetics, Art, Emotions, Ethics, Film, Psychology, Psychology, Values

  • Q&A: Photography as Art: 15 Dec 2013, Question 3
  • Question: Does photography qualify as art? I've always viewed photography as a legitimate form of art. However, many people I disagree: Ayn Rand argued that it's a technical rather than a creative skill. However, I regard photography as a technical and creative skill, just like painting. So does photography qualify as art? If not, does that mean that photography doesn't have value – or has less value than proper art forms like painting? If photography has value nonetheless, what is the source of that value?

    Tags: Aesthetics, Art, Painting, Photography, Spiritual Values, Value

  • Q&A: Romanticizing Historical Figures in Art: 28 Jul 2013, Question 2
  • Question: Are there moral limits to romanticizing historical figures in art? For example, a writer might romanticize Robin Hood as the Ragnar Danneskjöld of the Middle Ages. If this is proper, is there an ethical limit as to what kinds of persons one may or may not romanticize, or as to how far one may stretch the historic truth? For example, does it matter if there are still contemporaries of that historic person alive who suffered unjustly because of him? Would it be wrong to ignore some unpleasant facts in order to present a fictionalized heroic character?

    Tags: Art, Ethics, History, Honesty, Justice, Literature

  • Q&A: The Boundaries of Art: 24 Mar 2013, Question 3
  • Question: What counts as art? Ayn Rand defined art as "a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments." What does that mean? If art is a selective re-creation of reality, does that mean that anything can be art – such as a shoe or my kitchen trash? If art involves metaphysical value-judgments, does that mean that all art is implicitly a kind of philosophy?

    Tags: Aesthetics, Art, Personal Values, Spiritual Values

  • Q&A: Spiritual Values: 24 Feb 2013, Question 1
  • Question: What are "spiritual" values? In your recent discussion of "Materialism in Marriage," you talked about the importance of "spiritual values." However, I found that confusing, since I've always associated "spirituality" with religion, often of the woozy variety. So what are spiritual values? How are they different from material values? Why are they important?

    Tags: Art, Ethics, Friendship, Introspection, Pleasure, Spiritual Values, Values

  • Q&A: Enjoying Fantasy and Theology Literature: 1 Apr 2012, Question 4
  • Question: Is an interest in fantasy and theology literature proper? I'm fascinated with fantasy as a literary genre. I find it easier to get excited about a fantastic story rather than about a realistic one, and I'm also really interested in fantasy with a certain sophistication: the extremely well-constructed world of Tolkien in Lord of the Rings, for example, or the mythological background of vampire stories and so on. Along the same lines, I am also fascinated with theology. For example, I found it extremely interesting to read Paradise Lost, and to read up on the many theological questions it raises and answers. Is such an interest proper – or am I indulging in some kind of evasion or escapism from reality? Does it matter that I want to become a writer? I find inspiration for my own potential stories this way.

    Tags: Art, Introspection, Literature, Personal Values

  • Q&A: The Value of Reading Literature: 18 Dec 2011, Question 2
  • Question: What value do you gain from reading literature? I've never much connected with literature, particularly not the classics. I know that you read them routinely. What value do you find in them? Or, what am I missing?

    Tags: Art, Literature

  • Q&A: Product Placements in Art: 9 Oct 2011, Question 3
  • Question: Is product placement in art a breach of artistic integrity? Given that an artist must select every aspect of an artistic work, does delegating some selection to the highest bidder breach the integrity of the work? Does the type of artwork matter? Would it be okay in movies, television, and literature but not paintings? Why?

    Tags: Art, Business, Ethics, Film, Integrity, Literature

  • Q&A: Atheists Singing Religious Music: 31 Jul 2011, Question 2
  • Question: Is it moral for atheists to perform religious music? I love to sing classical music, and that usually means performing with a group that does religious music, including Catholic mass and other religious songs. Some of these groups are secular and perform it for the artistic value alone, but other groups are explicitly religious, such as those affiliated with a church. Is it wrong for an atheist like me to join either of these types of groups?

    Tags: Art, Atheism, Christianity, Music, Religion, Sanction

  • Q&A: Personal Art Recommendations: 22 May 2011, Question 5
  • Question: Can you give some art recommendations? Specifically, what would say would be your two or three favorites in the following categories, and why? (1) literature, (2) paintings/sculpture, (3) music, (4) movies, and (5) television.

    Tags: Art, Film, Literature, Music, Television

  • Podcast: Preview of Luc Travers Webcast on Appreciating Art: 9 Feb 2011
  • Summary: This podcast is the teaser for Luc Travers' webcast on the art. (That webcast is no longer available for sale.)

    Tags: Aesthetics, Art, Painting, Values

  • Interview: Earl Parson on The Work of an Architect: 24 Oct 2010
  • Summary: In this interview, architect Earl Parson discusses his work, particularly the then-in-progress Tennessee House.

    Tags: Architecture, Art, Business

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  • : 9 Nov 2009
  • : 26 Oct 2009
  • : 19 Oct 2009
  • : 12 Oct 2009
  • : 5 Oct 2009

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