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Author: James O. Young

It is often suggested that artists from one culture (outsiders) cannot successfully employ styles, stories, motifs and other artistic content developed in the context of another culture. I call this suggestion the aesthetic handicap thesis and argue against it. Cultural appropriation can result in works of high aesthetic value.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: James O. Young

A bewildering array of accounts of the ontology of musical works is available. Philosophers have held that works of music are sets of performances, abstract, eternal sound-event types, initiated types, compositional action types, compositional action tokens, ideas in a composer’s mind and continuants that perdure. This paper maintains that questions in the ontology of music are, in Rudolf Carnap’s sense of the term, pseudo-problems. That is, there is no alethic basis for choosing between rival musical ontologies. While we have no alethic basis for choosing any ontology of music, pragmatic reasons can be given for favoring certain ontologies of musical works over others.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: James O. Young

The central claim of this essay is that many deflationary theories of truth are variants of the correspondence theory of truth. Essential to the correspondence theory of truth is the proposal that objective features of the world are the truthmakers of statements. Many advocates of deflationary theories (including F. P. Ramsay, P. F. Strawson and Paul Horwich) remain committed to this proposal. Although T-sentences (statements of the form “s is true iff p”) are presented by advocates of deflationary theories of truth as truisms or analytic truths, T-sentences are often understood as entailing commitment to the central proposal of the correspondence theory.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Author: James O. Young

The claim that many musical works are representational is highly controversial. The formalist view that music is pure form and without any, or any significant, representational content is widely held. Two facts about music are, however, well-established by empirical science: Music is heard as resembling human expressive behaviour and music arouses ordinary emotions. This paper argues that it follows from these facts that music also represents human expressive behaviour and ordinary emotions.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China
Jean-Baptiste Du Bos’ Critical Reflections on Poetry and Painting, first published in French in 1719, is one of the seminal works of modern aesthetics. Du Bos rejected the seventeenth-century view that works of art are assessed by reason. Instead, he believed, audience members have sentiments in response to artworks. Their sentiments are fainter versions of those they would feel in response to actually seeing what the work of art imitates. Du Bos was influenced by John Locke’s empiricism and, in turn, had a major impact on virtually every major eighteenth-century contributor to philosophy of art, including Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Herder, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Kames, Gerard, and Hume. This is the first modern, annotated and scholarly edition of the Critical Reflections in any language.
War in Seventeenth-Century Ireland
These ten thematic essays examine the three Irish wars of the seventeenth-century in relation to each other, thereby yielding important comparative insights. The military potential of England and, later, an emergent Britain, was immeasurably greater than that of Irish Catholics. John McGurk, James Scott Wheeler and Paul Kerrigan evaluate the logistical and naval strategies exploiting this advantage.
Such was the disparity that an effective Irish military response to conquest and colonisation was only feasible in the favourable archipelagic and continental European circumstances explored by John Young and Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin. Defeat or victory ultimately depended on relative military performance in manoeuvre, battle and siege, operations evaluated by Pádraig Lenihan, Donal O’Carroll and James Burke. Bernadette Whelan examines the role of women as victim, survivor and, occasionally, combatant.
’You cannot carry fire in a sack’, Raymond Gillespie notes the impact of war, especially on urban Ireland.