Scott R. Stroud received his PhD from Temple University in May 2006 and is currently a visiting lecturer in the department of communication studies at the Univerity of Texas, Austin. He has published articles on aesthetics, ethics, Kant, and comparative philosophy. His current project explores the aesthetic theory of John Dewey and how it can used to build a theory of aesthetic experience as morally cultivating.
How To Do Things with Art
Version of Record online: 2 MAR 2010
2006 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 341–364, Summer 2006
How to Cite
Stroud, S. R. (2006), How To Do Things with Art. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 44: 341–364. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00105.x
- Issue online: 2 MAR 2010
- Version of Record online: 2 MAR 2010
In this article, I argue that speech act theory can be altered to accommodate art objects as evocative illocutionary speech acts that are aimed toward reaching understanding. To do this, I discuss the example of Zen Buddhism's use of the kōan, an aesthetic object that can be seen as evoking a given experience from its auditors for the purpose of reaching understanding on a point that the teacher wishes to make. I argue that such a reading of art as evocative can be merged with hypothetical intentionalism insofar as it recognizes a certain orientation on the part of the auditor to approach art in a certain way. In the case of kōans and other artworks, the approach is one of considering what claim an author may want to convey through the auditor's experience of the artwork.