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Derek Allan
Australian National University
  1.  16
    The Conquest of Time: The Forgotten Power of Art.Derek Allan - manuscript
    It’s common knowledge that those objects we regard as great works of art have a capacity to survive across time. But that observation is only a half-truth: it tells us nothing about the nature of this power of survival – about how art endures. -/- This question was once at the heart of Western thinking about art. The Renaissance solved it by claiming that great art is “timeless”, “eternal” – impervious to time, a belief that exerted a powerful influence on (...)
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  2. Why Art is Never Representation - Even When It Represents.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The question of whether or not art is essentially a representation of reality has long been a bone of contention among philosophers of art – especially in the major branch of that discipline called the analytic philosophy of art, or analytic aesthetics. This paper argues that art - visual art, literature or music - is never essentially representation. The argument is based on the thinking of André Malraux in "The Voices of Silence".
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  3.  23
    Art and the "Real World".Derek Allan - manuscript
    A conference paper examining the relationship between art and what is loosely termed the “real world”.
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  4. Literature and the Passing of Time: Reflecting on the Temporal Nature of Art.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The paper explores the much-neglected but crucial topic of the capacity of art to transcend time.
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  5.  30
    Beauty, Art and the Western Tradition.Derek Allan - manuscript
    From the Renaissance onwards, the Western tradition singled out the term beauty for a unique and highly prestigious role. As Christian belief began its gradual decline, Renaissance art invented a rival transcendence in the form of an exalted world of nobility, harmony and beauty – the world exemplified by the works of painters such as Raphael, Titian and Poussin. Beauty in this sense quickly became the ruling ideal of Western art, subsequently underpinning the explanations of the nature and function of (...)
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  6.  53
    Laclos and the Dark Side of the Enlightenment.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The conventional view that all Enlightenment thinkers believed that the fruits of Reason could only be beneficial is not necessarily accurate. Laclos, whose celebrated novel "Les Liaisons dangereueses" was published in 1782, provides a perspective on the world of Reason that does not square with that view. Working at the level of individual psychology, Reason in Laclos's novel divides the world into the strong and the weak – more specifically, the astute and the naive. It defines human worth in terms (...)
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  7.  41
    Literature and Knowledge.Derek Allan - manuscript
    Can novels, plays and poetry tell us something important and true about who we are, about others, and about life generally? The question seems to be of interest not only to writers on literary theory and aesthetics, but to people generally. This paper considers the issues involved.
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  8.  65
    Creation Ex Nihilo: André Malraux and the Concept of Artistic Creation.Derek Allan - manuscript
    One might naturally suppose that philosophers of art would take a strong interest in the idea of creation in the context of art. In fact, this has often not been the case. In analytic aesthetics, the issue tends to dwell on the sidelines and in continental aesthetics a shadow has sometimes been cast over the topic by the notion of the “death of the author” and by the claim, as Roland Barthes put it, that the author is only ever able (...)
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  9. Goya and the Dark Side of the Enlightenment.Derek Allan - manuscript
    Conventionally lauded as the luminous Age of Reason in which the fogs of religious superstition lifted to reveal a new world of tolerance and human dignity, the Enlightenment also possessed what one might term its “dark side”. A small number of writers and visual artists – such as Sade, Choderlos de Laclos (author of Les Liaisons dangereuses) and Francisco Goya – recognised that the newfound paths of Reason and empiricism could lead in unexpected directions and reveal aspects of human experience (...)
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  10.  62
    Literature and Knowledge.Derek Allan - manuscript
    Asks whether and in what way fictional literature can be a source of knowledge about ourselves and the world in which we live.
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  11.  75
    Analytic Aesthetics and the Dilemma of Timelessness.Derek Allan - manuscript
    The paper highlights analytic aesthetics’ unacknowledged assumption that art is timeless, a view it inherited from Enlightenment thinkers such as Hume and Kant, who in turn inherited it from the Renaissance. This view, I contend, is no longer tenable because it is at odds with our experience of the art of the past. Analytic aesthetics avoids this key problem because it confines its attention to issues such as the nature of aesthetic pleasure, whether the appreciation of art should be disinterested (...)
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  12.  41
    Analytic Aesthetics and the Dilemma of Timelessness.Derek Allan - manuscript
    Explores the failure of analytic aesthetics to examine the question of the capacity of art to transcend time, and its own commitment – seldom explicitly acknowledged – to the assumption that this capacity functions through the traditional, but no longer viable, notion of timelessness inherited from Enlightenment aesthetics.
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