Pragmatist aesthetics is a rich theoretical tradition which has its beginnings in the work of classical pragmatists (most notably, John Dewey’s 1934 book Art as Experience), and which was rejuvenated in the 80s and the 90s by such scholars as Richard Rorty, Joseph Margolis, and Richard Shusterman. The latter’s 1992 book Pragmatist Aesthetics can be seen as a symbolic moment in the emergence of the second wave of pragmatist aesthetics, and today, twenty years after its publication, it is perhaps the right time to rethink pragmatism’s contribution to aesthetic theory.

The aim of this conference is to reflect on pragmatist aesthetics’ history and current condition, but also on its potential to address the most pressing problems of contemporary philosophical aesthetics, and to project the future avenues for its progress. In particular, we welcome submissions that: provide historical accounts of pragmatist aesthetics’ development; address aesthetic themes in the work of classical pragmatists (Peirce, James, Dewey, F.C.S. Schiller, etc.) and/or neopragmatists (Rorty, Goodman, Margolis, Shusterman, Putnam, et al.); deploy a (neo-)pragmatist perspective in addressing a given aesthetic problem or in interpreting concrete works of art; provide a comparative analysis of pragmatist aesthetics and aesthetic theories developed in other philosophical traditions or in different disciplines – for instance in analytic philosophy, continental and post-continental thought, evolutionary psychology, psychoanalysis, etc.

Keynote speaker: Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University)