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Recent Publications by Members


Thomas Heyd and John Clegg Aesthetics and Rock Art (Ashgate 2005).

Rock art research, the study of paintings and drawings on rock surfaces made by peoples from time immemorial up to the present, is a field that is growing in importance in such disciplines as archaeology, anthropology, and art history. This book is the first treatment of the subject to analyse it from the perspective of aesthetics.

Divided into three parts – The role of aesthetics in rock art research, Aesthetic appreciation of rock art: constitutive factors, and Case studies: opportunities and tensions in cross-cultural appreciation – the book is a collection of 18 essays by leading authorities in aesthetics and rock art.

These essays illustrate how an approach stemming from aesthetics adds to the understanding of rock art and also show how a focus on rock art can contribute to new perspectives in aesthetics.

Dr. Thomas Heyd is professor of philosophy at the University of Victoria, and Dr. John Clegg is a member of the archaeology department at the University of Sydney.



Lambert Zuidervaart, Artistic Truth: Aesthetics, Discourse, and Imaginative Disclosure
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

It is unfashionable to talk about artistic truth. Yet the issues traditionally addressed under that term have not disappeared. Indeed, questions have intensified concerning the role of the artist in society, the relationship between art and knowledge, and the validity of cultural interpretation.

Lambert Zuidervaart challenges current intellectual fashions. He proposes a new critical hermeneutics of artistic truth that engages with both analytic and continental philosophies and illuminates the contemporary cultural scene. The positions of Heidegger, Goodman, and
Wolterstorff are considered in detail, using insights derived from Adorno, Habermas, and Searle. Ranging across debates in aesthetics, epistemology, and philosophy of discourse, the book offers an
alternative not only to traditional correspondence theories of truth but also to recent rejections of such theories.

Zuidervaart argues that people turn to the arts as a way of finding orientation in their lives, communities, and institutions. But philosophers, hamstrung by their own theories of truth, have been unsuccessful in accounting for this common feature in our lives. His book portrays artistic truth as a process of imaginative disclosure in
which expectations of authenticity, significance, and integrity prevail. Understood in this way, truth becomes central to both the aesthetic worth and the societal importance of the arts.

Dr. Lambert Zuidervaart is professor of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto.


Allen Carlson, The Aesthetics of Natural Environmentsed. (with A. Berleant) (Peterborough: Broadview, 2004).

The Aesthetics of Natural Environments presents fresh and fascinating insights into our interpretation of the environment. Traditional aesthetics is often associated with the appreciation of art, but Allen Carlson shows how much of our aesthetic experience does not encompass art but nature--in our response to sunsets, mountains or horizons or more mundane surroundings, like gardens or the view from our window. Carlson argues that knowledge of what it is we are appreciating is essential to having an appropriate aesthetic experience and that a scientific understanding of nature can enhance our appreciation of it, rather than denigrate it.

Dr. Allen Carlson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta.

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