[SydPhil] Inner West Council Philosophy Talks: David Macarthur (University of Sydney), "Why Does Art Matter to Us?", Leichhardt Library, June 1, 6:30-8:00pm

Simon Lumsden s.lumsden at unsw.edu.au
Mon May 29 12:19:03 AEST 2017

In 2017 the Inner West Council initiated a series of philosophy talks that will be given by local and visiting philosophers. The aim of the series is to introduce interested members of the public to a figure, problem or area of philosophy.

Details of our next talk (this Thursday Evening) are below

Title: "Why Does Art Matter to Us?"

Speaker: Associate Professor David Macarthur (University of Sydney)

Abstract:  Most philosophers who approach the topic of art ask what Nigel Warburton calls “the art question”: What is art?  In this talk I aim to pursue another no less important question, namely, Why does art matter to us in the way that it does? I am not talking about art we own and value as a commodity on the art market. What is at issue is art that speaks to us, that may be of local or cultural importance, perhaps even internationally recognized art that has passed the test of time, being found valuable by different cultures and peoples over large periods of time e.g. Shakespeare’s plays. Why do people spend so much time and money, say, looking at art in galleries, museums, opera houses, theatres and cinemas? This is easy to answer if one accepts the facile idea we value art because it gives us pleasure. But I reject that answer on the ground that great art can be highly disturbing e.g. King Lear, Haneke’s Hidden (Caché), Wagner’s Ring Cycle, McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Why do we value art then?

Thursday 1 June 2017
6:30pm - 8pm
Leichhardt Library (Piazza Level - Italian Forum, 23 Norton St, Leichhardt)
Free event - All welcome - Light refreshments provided
Bookings online or call 9367 9266

Full details as well as registration for the event are available from this link:


Simon Lumsden
(Inner West Council philosophy talks program coordinator)

Simon Lumsden | Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of New South Wales | Sydney | NSW 2052 | Australia
work + 61 2 9385 2369
s.lumsden at unsw.edu.au<mailto:s.lumsden at unsw.edu.au>

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