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Royal Institute of Philosophy Human Science Seminar – Thursday 16 March

This is a reminder about the Human Sciences Seminar Series, our invited speaker research seminar financed by the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which this week features Professor Sheryl Tuttle-Ross of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. Professor Tuttle-Ross is also an International Project Partner for our externally and internally funded From Photovoice to Photo-Philosophy Learning and Teaching innovation, for which she is visiting Manchester throughout the week.

Professor Sheryl Tuttle-Ross (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse) : ‘Propaganda and the Aesthetic Experience’
Thursday 16 March, 17:00-18:30
Geoffrey Manton Building Room GM 332
The event is free and open to everyone, including students and the general public. 

Registration is not necessary (but of course feel free to contact me if you have any questions: a.bergqvist@mmu.ac.uk)

Traditional accounts of the aesthetic experience broadly speaking or those that locate the value of a work of art on its formal features eschew political art as propaganda.  Moreover, they suggest that it is impossible for propaganda to be good art, even if they allow it to count as art. The anti-art propaganda claim admits of varying degrees from its strongest articulation by Clive Bell who maintains that art and politics are mutually exclusive to Monroe Beardsley and R. W. Collingwood who maintain that propaganda is at best amusement art or that in so far as art is propaganda it gets in the way of its aesthetic value. The aim of this paper is to suggest that the aesthetic value of propaganda art may be instrumental in its efficacy. To do so, we will need to revise some of the traditional characteristics of the aesthetic experience to account for the aesthetic experience’s role in the logic of propaganda art.  Clever fallacies create the phenomenon that Adorno dubs “seeing through, yet believing.”  The distancing required of the aesthetic experience is integral to an appreciation of art propaganda, but it does not insulated one from the force of its message.

All welcome!

The Human Sciences Seminar Series is a research seminar organised by the Philosophy section of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Department of History, Politics and Philosophy. It continues thanks to the generous support of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Meetings are held regularly in at 5pm on Thursdays during the autumn and spring term. The series was founded by David Melling and Wolfe Mays in 1979 out of a desire to explore the various human sciences in a systematic way from the standpoint of critical philosophy. It has now run without break for over thirty years. Talks usually last 45-50 minutes, followed by an answer and question session. After the talk we will take the speaker for drinks and dinner, all of which everyone is welcome to join.

Dr Anna Bergqvist
Lecturer in Philosophy