CFP Jan 16, 2014

Facts and Values in Aesthetics (Florence, 24-28 Jun 14)

Villa Finaly, Florence, Italy, Jun 24–28, 2014
Deadline: Mar 1, 2014

Vangelis Athanassopoulos, Montreuik-sous-bois

Facts and Values in Aesthetics: Contemporary Stakes and Approaches

The Sixth Mediterranean Congress of Aesthetics will take place at
Villa Finaly in Florence, Italy, from the 24th to the 28th of June,
2014, and will be concerned with the contemporary debate over the
opposition of facts and values in aesthetics.

Please note the extended deadline: March 1, 2014
(was January 12, 2014)

In a text entitled The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other
Essays (2004), Hilary Putnam argues convincingly against a classic
opposition which does not serve philosophical reflection positively;
in fact, this apparently unquestioned and unquestionable dichotomy,
which is the nature of all dogma, leaves many unsolved, untreated,
unseen and unexamined problems.

Putnam’s analysis mostly focuses on the theory and practice of
knowledge, but one can legitimately extend it to other fields,
starting with that of aesthetics, which sooner or later is confronted
with the question of whether one defends or rejects the dichotomy.
Keeping or rejecting it implies reasons to do so, but often these
reasons remains implicit, most especially in aesthetics.

Certain observable features in the fields of aesthetics, practice and
artistic creation show that old evaluation criteria may now be
obsolete. This is because upon further consideration, the definition
of value remains opaque: should the artwork be judged according to its
moral value, its market value, or its formal value? To side with or
against the concept of value in art and aesthetics does not preclude a
certain number of differences concerning the very nature of what is
meant by value. If traditionally the ‘fact’ was the work, taken in all
its tangibility, currently the materiality of the object no longer
seems to play such a major role. Art is increasingly populated by
so-called ‘immaterial’ or ‘ephemeral’ works and is therefore
rarely, or badly, quantifiable according to old aesthetic and
economic evaluation criteria.

Aesthetic judgement, the keystone of all philosophical thought on art,
as well as the practice of criticism seem to be jeopardized. Can we
pass judgement? If necessary, would the aesthetic be transformed?
Would it be eradicated from its very origins as a science of the
sensible? Practical-moral questions are gaining the upper hand over
more conventionally formal questions. The social function of art
therefore seems to be against a radical idea of artistic and aesthetic
autonomy. Socio-political issues come to also integrate aesthetic
questioning, now in an increasingly expanded sense, where the
authority of the people involved, their social status, their
nationality, their origins, can come to add (or sometimes subtract) an
element to the very value of works they create or simply enable us to

The link between the economic and the cultural, notably with the
increasingly important commitment to cultural policies, allows us to
understand that the cultural value of art sometimes predominates over
the old universal value it used to have. The progressively pragmatic
contextualization of works within the social space puts forward a new
definition of aesthetic value, no longer eternal and ideal, but rather
anchored in the sensible and the politico-economic issues of a
culturally specific situation.

At the time of this 6th Congress, the Mediterranean basin passes
through an unparalleled crisis. How can we not ask the question of the
role of art in such a context? What is the value of art, and how can
we view this crisis from the perspective of aesthetics? The context
and the current changes support the idea that the question of ‘value’
and its confrontation with the concept of ‘fact’ is urgent. What role
do artistic practices and aesthetic theories play? A role of
emancipation, of liberation, escape, or transformation? Or on the
contrary, could art become another means to subject individuals to the
status quo?

As can easily be noticed, the question of maintaining or rejecting the
dichotomy of facts and values is at the heart of the most pressing
issues. This conference cannot ignore it.

Proposals may address the following topics, but are not limited to
- the pros / cons : what facts? what values? and for what purpose?
- aesthetic judgment (can we do without it?) and criticism
- ethical and practical moral questions
- socio-political questions
- the link between the economic and the cultural (including: cultural
policies, their choices and their consequences)
- contexts and current changes
- facts and values in artistic practices
- issues of censorship and the law
- art and biotechnologies, what limits, what is allowed or not - and
- differences in the arts and practices (film, dance, performance,
theatre, etc.)
- issues of identity, gender

Preference will be given to proposals for papers on the relationship
between aesthetics, philosophy of art and ethical, moral, and
socio-political contemporary issues.

Please note that three keynote speakers have already confirmed their
participation: Marie-José Mondzain (Paris), Fabrizio Desideri
(Florence), Pere Salabert (Barcelona).

Proposals should include a title, an abstract of approximately 250
words (1,500 characters including spaces), and a short biography and
bibliography of the author. They should be sent by email to Jacinto
Lageira ( and Evangelos Athanassopoulos
( before March 1st 2014. The proposals
will then be sent anonymously to a selection committee. A reply will
be sent before March 15th. Selected participants will then receive
information about Congress registration (through Paris 1 services) and
accommodation arrangements (through Villa Finally services - see

Organising Committee:
- ACTE Institute (Art Creation Theory Aesthetics) - UMR 8218,
University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and CNRS, Research Group
Æsthetica - Art and Philosophy
- Evangelos Athanassopoulos (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
- Barbara Formis (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
- Jacinto Lageira (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

With the participation of:
- Société Française d’Esthétique
- Società Italiana di Estetica (SIE)
- Chancellerie des Universités de Paris
- École doctorale Arts plastiques, Esthétique et Sciences de l’art,
University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
- Aisthesis. Pratiche, linguaggi e saperi dell'estetico
- Proteus, Cahiers des théories de l’art

Scientific Committee:
Matilde Carrasco Barranco (University of Murcia), Dominique Chateau
(University Paris 1), Richard Conte (University Paris 1), Filippo
Fimiani (University of Salerno), Christophe Genin (University Paris 1),
Giovanni Matteucci (University of Bologna), Raffaele Milani
(University of Bologna), Mario Perniola (University Roma 3 Tor
Vergata), Salvador Rubio Marco (University of Murcia), Maryvonne Saison
(University Paris X), Carole Talon-Hugon (French Society of Aesthetics
/ University of Nice), Dionysios Zivas (Hellenic Society for

- Villa Finaly, Chancellerie des Universités de Paris
- ACTE Institute - UMR 8218 - Æsthetica, Art and Philosophy
- Société Française d’Esthétique
- Società Italiana di Estetica (SIE)
- Aisthesis. Pratiche, linguaggi e saperi dell'estetico
- Proteus, Cahiers des théories de l’art

CFP: Facts and Values in Aesthetics (Florence, 24-28 Jun 14). In:, Jan 16, 2014 (accessed Jun 19, 2024), <>.