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Casey Haskins

Associate Professor of Philosophy

In my teaching and research, I pursue a wide variety of interests in philosophy and its connections with other humanistic, artistic, and scientific disciplines. Before I began my undergraduate philosophy major years  ago I also studied music, with a major in percussion. (I’ve worked semi-professionally as a jazz drummer for many years). More recently, I have become interested in dance, both as an art form and as an area of human activity that, like music, integrates mental, bodily, and emotional abilities in creative ways.

Research Interests

My research and publishing focus on two areas within philosophy. One is the history of aesthetics. I think of aesthetics as a transdisciplinary field that includes not only traditional philosophical aesthetics or philosophy of art, but also the histories and criticism of all the individual fine arts, cultural and media studies, and the cognitive neuropsychology of art and creativity . Here most of my recent articles and current book-in-progress (The Evolution of Autonomy in Aesthetics) examine the history of debates about artistic autonomy from Kant through the present “post-anti-aesthetic” phase of postmodern art theory and criticism. My other main scholarly interest is the philosophy of John Dewey, with particular attention to Dewey’s writings on art and culture.

Representative Courses

  • Philosophy of Art from Plato to Postmodernism
  • Philosophy of the Environment
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Classical Buddhist Philosophy
  • Pragmatism and the Quest for Certainty
  • Free Will and Evolved Minds (emphasizing current debates in philosophy of mind and neuropsychology)
  • Philosophy and Film
  • Romanticism and Philosophy
  • From Hegel to Nietzsche

Publications

Edited Volume

Casey Haskins and David Seiple, eds., Dewey Reconfigured: Essays on Deweyan Pragmatism (State University of New York Press, 1999)

Selected Articles (for comprehensive list see link on this page)

  • “Kant and the Autonomy of Art”, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 47:1 (Winter 1989)
  • “Dewey’s Art as Experience : The Tension between Aesthetics and Aestheticism” Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society XXVIII.2 (Spring 1992)
  • “On the Sources of Aesthetic Scepticism,” The Philosophical Forum (Spring 1996)
  • “Dewey’s Romanticism”, in Casey Haskins and David I. Seiple, eds., Dewey Reconfigured: Essays on Deweyan Pragmatism (SUNY Press, 1999)
  • “Paradoxes of Autonomy: Or, Why Won’t the Problem of Artistic Justification Go Away?” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58:1 Winter 2000
  • “Art, Morality, and the Holocaust: The Aesthetic Riddle of Benigni’s ‘Life is Beautiful’” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59:4 Fall 2001
  • “The Disunity of Aesthetics: A Response to J.G.A. Pocock” Common Knowledge 11:2 Spring 2005
  • “Context” Routledge Encyclopedia of American Philosophy ( 2007)
  •  “Beauty” Routledge Encyclopedia of American Philosophy ( 2007)
  •  “The Disunity of Film Theory and the Disunity of Aesthetics” in Temenuga Trifonova, ed., European Film Theory (Routledge, 2008)
  •  “Aesthetics as an Intellectual Network” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism; Fall 2011
  •  “The Myth of the Autonomy Fault Line in Aesthetics” in Owen Hulatt, ed., Artistic and Aesthetic Autonomy (Continuum, 2013)
  • “Autonomy: Historical Overview” in Michael Kelly, ed., Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • “John Dewey” (revised) Michael Kelly, ed., Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • “Dewey’s Art as Experience on the Landscape of Twenty-First Century Aesthetics” (forthcoming in Steven Fesmire, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Dewey, 2017)

Book Reviews

  • Daniel F. Rice, Reinhold Niebuhr and John Dewey: An American Odyssey. The Review of Metaphysics (March 1995)
  • Peggy Zeglin Brand and Carolyn Korsmeyer, eds., Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics . Metaphilosophy (December 1995)
  • L. Hagberg, Art as Language: Wittgenstein, Meaning, and Aesthetic TheoryThe Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (Fall 1996)
  • Victor Kestenbaum, The Grace and Severity of the Ideal: John Dewey and the Transcendent. Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society (2003)
  •  W.J.T. Mitchell, What Do Pictures Want? The Lives and Loves of Images. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64:2 Spring 2006
  •  Jonathan Loesberg, A Return To Aesthetics: Autonomy, Indifference, and Postmodernism (American Society for Aesthetics Newsletter; Spring 2007)
  • Janet Wolff, The Aesthetics of UncertaintyThe Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67:4 Fall 2009
  • Louis Dupré, The Quest of the Absolute: Birth and Decline of European RomanticismNotre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2014)
  • Alva Nöe, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature (  The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism Fall  2016)
  • Cecilia Sjöholm, Doing Aesthetics with Arendt: How to See ThingsNotre Dame Philosophical Reviews  Fall 2016)
  • Ian Bogost, Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, The Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games (Forthcoming in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism Summer 2017)

Work in Progress

  • The Evolution of Autonomy in Aesthetics (Book manuscript)