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Aili Bresnahan
University of Dayton
  1. Improvisation in the Arts.Aili Bresnahan - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (9):573-582.
    This article focuses primarily on improvisation in the arts as discussed in philosophical aesthetics, supplemented with accounts of improvisational practice by arts theorists and educators. It begins with an overview of the term improvisation, first as it is used in general and then as it is used to describe particular products and practices in the individual arts. From here, questions and challenges that improvisation raises for the traditional work-of-art concept, the type-token distinction, and the appreciation and evaluation of the arts (...)
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  2. Improvisational Artistry in Live Dance Performance as Embodied and Extended Agency.Aili Bresnahan - 2014 - Dance Research Journal 46 (1):84-94.
    This paper provides an account of improvisational artistry in live dance performance that construes the contribution of the dance performer as a kind of agency. Andy Clark’s theory of the embodied and extended mind is used in order to consider how this account is supported by research on how a thinking-while-doing person navigates the world. I claim here that while a dance performer’s improvisational artistry does include embodied and extended features that occur outside of the brain and nervous system that (...)
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  3.  54
    Dance Appreciation: The View From the Audience.Aili Bresnahan - 2017 - In David Goldbatt, Lee Brown & Stephanie Patridge (eds.), Aesthetics: A Reader in the Philosophy of the Arts, 4th edition. New York: pp. 347-350.
    Dance can be appreciated from all sorts of perspectives: For instance, by the dancer while dancing, by the choreographer while watching in the wings, by the musician in the orchestra pit who accompanies the dance, or by the loved-one of a dancer who watches while hoping that the dancer performs well and avoids injury. This essay will consider what it takes to appreciate dance from the perspective of a seated, non-moving audience member. A dance appreciator in this position is typically (...)
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  4.  24
    Toward A Deweyan Theory of Ethical and Aesthetic Performing Arts Practice.Aili Bresnahan - 2014 - Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 1 (2):133-148.
    This paper formulates a Deweyan theory of performing arts practice that relies for its support on two main things: The unity Dewey ascribed to all intelligent practices (including artistic practice) and The observation that many aspects of the work of performing artists of Dewey’s time include features (“dramatic rehearsal,” action, interaction and habit development) that are part of Dewey’s characterization of the moral life. This does not deny the deep import that Dewey ascribed to aesthetic experience (both in art and (...)
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  5.  15
    How Artistic Creativity is Possible for Cultural Agents.Aili Bresnahan - 2015 - In Nordic Studies in Pragmatism. Helsinki, Finland: pp. 197-216.
    Joseph Margolis holds that both artworks and selves are ”culturally emergent entities." Culturally emergent entities are distinct from and not reducible to natural or physical entities. Artworks are thus not reducible to their physical media; a painting is thus not paint on canvas and music is not sound. In a similar vein, selves or persons are not reducible to biology, and thought is not reducible to the physical brain. Both artworks and selves thus have two ongoing and inseparable ”evolutions”—one cultural (...)
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