Great literature such as Dostoevsky's novels, Shakespeare's plays, and Kafka's stories are often claimed to convey important truths about the human condition. Peter Lamarque is sceptical about this way of discussing literature. He explains why in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
David Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste' addresses the question of whether we can, with any authority, judge one writer to be genuinely better than another. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Mike Martin gives a clear analysis of that essay.
You can read David Hume's 'Of the Standard of Taste' here (click on the white triangle in the red box on the right hand side of the screen, select 'Contents' from the drop down menu, and then scroll down to Essay XXVl).
Philosopher Kendall Walton argues that photographs are distinctively different from other kinds of pictures: he thinks that we can literally see through them to the objects and people they are of. He explains this counterintuitive idea in the course of this interview with Nigel Warburton.
In this Philosophy Bites interview Alex Neill addresses the question of whether there really is a paradox of tragedy. How is it that we can enjoy tragedies when they show pain and suffering? He also considers the related question of how we can take pleasure in horror movies.
What is art? This has become as difficult question to answer since Marcel Duchamp put a factory-produced urinal in an open exhibition, signed it 'R. Mutt' and called it 'Fountain'. Derek Matravers, author of Art and Emotion, explores this question in conversation with Nigel Warburton.
Can film be philosophy? Stephen Mulhall believes it can. Most philosophers who consider film focus on essential qualities of the cinematic medium, its reliance on photographic representation and montage, and so on. Mulhall has a very different approach. In this episode of Philosophy Bites he explains how the movie Bladerunner addresses philosophical themes.
How important is beauty in architecture? Is a concern with beauty mere aestheticism? Alain de Botton, author of The Architecture of Happiness discusses these and related questions in this podcast interview with Nigel Warburton.