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Robbie Kubala
University of Texas at Austin
  1. Aesthetic practices and normativity.Robbie Kubala - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):408–425.
    What should we do, aesthetically speaking, and why? Any adequate theory of aesthetic normativity must distinguish reasons internal and external to aesthetic practices. This structural distinction is necessary in order to reconcile our interest in aesthetic correctness with our interest in aesthetic value. I consider three case studies—score compliance in musical performance, the look of a mowed lawn, and literary interpretation—to show that facts about the correct actions to perform and the correct attitudes to have are explained by norms internal (...)
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  2. Grounding Aesthetic Obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (3):271-285.
    Many writers describe a sense of requirement in aesthetic experience: some aesthetic objects seem to demand our attention. In this paper, I consider whether this experienced demand could ever constitute a genuine normative requirement, which I call an aesthetic obligation. I explicate the content, form, and satisfaction conditions of these aesthetic obligations, then argue that they would have to be grounded neither in the special weight of some aesthetic considerations, nor in a normative relation we bear to aesthetic objects as (...)
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  3. Aesthetic obligations.Robbie Kubala - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (12):e12712.
    Are there aesthetic obligations, and what would account for their binding force if so? I first develop a general, domain‐neutral notion of obligation, then critically discuss six arguments offered for and against the existence of aesthetic obligations. The most serious challenge is that all aesthetic obligations are ultimately grounded in moral norms, and I survey the prospects for this challenge alongside three non‐moral views about the source of aesthetic obligations: individual practical identity, social practices, and aesthetic value primitivism. I conclude (...)
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  4. Non-Monotonic Theories of Aesthetic Value.Robbie Kubala - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Theorists of aesthetic value since Hume have traditionally aimed to justify at least some comparative judgments of aesthetic value and to explain why we thereby have more reason to appreciate some aesthetic objects than others. I argue that three recent theories of aesthetic value—Thi Nguyen’s and Matthew Strohl’s engagement theories, Nick Riggle’s communitarian theory, and Dominic McIver Lopes’ network theory—face a challenge to carry out this explanatory task in a satisfactory way. I defend a monotonicity principle according to which the (...)
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  5. Literary Intentionalism.Robbie Kubala - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):503-515.
    In the philosophical debate about literary interpretation, the actual intentionalist claims, and the anti-intentionalist denies, that an acceptable interpretation of fictional literature must be constrained by the author’s intentions. I argue that a close examination of the two most influential recent strands in this debate reveals a surprising convergence. Insofar as both sides (a) focus on literary works as they are, where work identity is determined in part by certain (successfully realized) categorial intentions concerning, e.g., title, genre, and large-scale instances (...)
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  6. The Aesthetics of Crossword Puzzles.Robbie Kubala - 2023 - British Journal of Aesthetics 63 (3):381-394.
    This paper develops an aesthetics of crossword puzzles. I present a taxonomy of crosswords in the Anglophone world and argue that there are three distinct sources of aesthetic value in crosswords. First, and in common with other puzzles, crosswords merit aesthetic experiences of our own agency: paradigmatically, the aesthetic experience of struggling for and hitting upon the right solution. In addition to instantiating the aesthetic value of puzzles in general, crosswords in particular can have two other sources of aesthetic value: (...)
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  7. Love and Transience in Proust.Robbie Kubala - 2016 - Philosophy 91 (4):541-557.
    One strand of recent philosophical attention to Marcel Proust's novel À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, exemplified by Martha Nussbaum and Rae Langton, claims that romantic love is depicted in the text as self-regarding and solipsistic. I aim to challenge this reading. First, I demonstrate that the text contains a different view, overlooked by these recent interpreters, according to which love is directed at the partially knowable reality of another. Second, I argue that a better explanation for Proust's narrator's ultimate (...)
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  8. Proust on Desire Satisfaction.Robbie Kubala - 2022 - In Anna Elsner & Thomas Stern (eds.), The Proustian Mind. London: Routledge. pp. 335-48.
    For a certain ordinary class of desires, Marcel Proust’s thoughts on their satisfaction can be summed up in one word: don’t. Don’t satisfy your desires; doing so will fail to satisfy you. Should you therefore seek to eliminate desire? Absolutely not: desiring itself sustains you. The disappointment of attaining what you desire is one of Proust’s most persistent themes, elaborated in the florid unfolding of À la recherche du temps perdu but already expressed succinctly in an early story from Les (...)
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  9. Aesthetic Life and Why it Matters. [REVIEW]Robbie Kubala - forthcoming - British Journal of Aesthetics:ayad013.
    A review of Aesthetic Life and Why It Matters (OUP, 2022), by Dominic McIver Lopes, Bence Nanay, and Nick Riggle. In this short but rich book, three leading specialists in aesthetics have teamed up to introduce the topic of aesthetics as a branch of value theory.
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  10. The philosophical imagination: Selected essays by Richard Moran. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, xvi + 326 pp. ISBN: 9780190633776 £47.99. [REVIEW]Robbie Kubala - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):1180-1183.
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  11. MCGREGOR, RAFE. The Value of Literature. Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016, xii + 161 pp., $120.00 cloth. [REVIEW]Robbie Kubala - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (3):311-314.
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