2023 Abstracts Stage 2

Can the Sustainable be Beautiful?

This project engages with different philosophers and materials in exploring the concept of beauty within sustainable architecture. It seeks to further the inquiry into sustainability to include aesthetics and beauty in order to suggest a new way of living to make sure of the continued prospering of a community. It will argue that a sense of place and care is important in fostering a sustainable environment and that beauty plays a crucial role in this. This is particularly relevant as the concept of sustainability is in the news and, in the planning agenda. If we continue to neglect the research of beauty within sustainable architecture, it is possible we may slowly eradicate beauty in the future. Thus the purpose of this research is to end the divide between the sustainable and the beautiful. The first section will explore the different accounts of beauty, exploring subjective versus objective paradigms. The second section will explore the role of modern architecture in the decline of beauty within architecture in favour of sustainability through case studies of certain modern buildings. Further, it will examine the concept of dwelling and the art of making place through Heidegger and Christian Norberg-Schulz in explaining why modern architecture is failing.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Examining the potential Aesthetic and Existential Authenticity of Fanworks

I have investigated the potential for authenticity in works of art and fiction created by fans of various media. I have examined whether or not fan artists themselves may be considered as living authentically when producing works of art which are inspired by and dependant on another source of art. I have looked at the concept of authenticity from both an aesthetic and existential perspective, examining the philosophies of Benjamin, Barthes, Sartre and Heidegger.

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

Cinema Violence. Quentin Tarantino in the World of Aesthetics and the Problem of Beauty in Evil

Territory: Cinema Violence

Object: Quentin Tarantino

Concepts: Audience emotion, aesthetic formalism, the problem of beauty in evil.

Philosophers: Noël Carroll, Mary Devereux, Joseph Kupfer, Quentin Tarantino

– To better understand the arguments put forward by Quentin Tarantino for his use of violence.
– To further explore these ideas in the context of philosophy of audience and aesthetics.

– How has violent cinema developed?
– What is Tarantino’s role in the history of cinema violence?
– What is Tarantino’s relationship with his audience?
– What is Tarantino’s aesthetic philosophy?
– Where does Tarantino fit in with the problem of finding beauty in evil?

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

‘Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty’. Is Science the Only Way to Truth?

Using a variety of historical texts and books written by key thinkers within the advancements made in knowledge, I will explore what is considered as true knowledge today and whether or not this is a strength or a weakness to our search for truth.

Religion – was once the dominant discourse of its time. It allowed other forms of knowledge a role in its teachings to an extent, for instance it used literature and often allowed science a say if it agreed with its teachings. However, it is arguably because of Christianity in the Western world that the notion of science as the only way to truth came about.

Enlightenment – Kant’s views on empowerment and emancipation ridding us of the Dark Age. Giving us more values and starting off progress in scientific thought.

Science – Move from Descartes and Newton’s thought and Darwin who still respected a God; to Einstein, Freud and Dawkins. No need for God, no intended purpose and a very monistic approach.

Mary Midgley- Her inspiring view that we do not need to fight for authority, we must work together (pluralism). Her disregard for the scientific notion that it stands alone – which will be my concluding remark.

Lyotard’s Postmodern – Shows how science refutes itself (link back to Kant). I will also explore the notion that advancements and modernity have taken away magic from the world – Roland Barthes (Paris doctors of post modernity).

A general discussion of whether purpose is important to us, whether we need it to function, to be ethical. How important is it to knowledge?

I will conclude that purpose is important and therefore perhaps the paths of knowledge I have discussed cannot give us both purpose and freedom. I offer literature as a new path to truth. It is unbiased and puts magic in the world, through appreciation. Keats – ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’. Greeks agreed with this notion and it teaches society essentials.

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

Beauty and Utility

The project aims to analyse the relationships between property and beauty and utility. This will include the shift in what we consider beauty to be, and how that has affected property development in the UK. Architectures and developers of the 20th Century have become impatient with beauty and replaced it with utility. I will discuss the implications for this on both the type of building as well as where these buildings are being constructed. In that vein the project will address the importance of environment and rural surroundings to human nature. Environmental ethics and aesthetics will form a large proportion of the project and the conclusion will determine whether this change in perception of beauty has had a negative effect on property in the UK and whether our spiritual and moral needs have been damaged. Key Philosophers include Roger Scruton who discusses the importance of beauty for humans in terms of understanding their nature and world around them. Immanuel Kant’s notion of disinterestedness in regard to beauty will also be analysed and compared to Scruton’s idea that one must appreciate the function of something to appreciate its beauty as well.

2012 Abstracts Stage 2

Where’s the Sense in Surgery? An investigation into the use of cosmetic surgery in relation to the Feminist thought of Simone de Beauvoir

The aim of my project is to examine how impossible standards of beauty are being promoted as the ideal within society.

As a result, thousands of women are resorting to the use of cosmetic surgery to try and emulate this ideal.

Women have been banished to the sphere of Otherness, destined to achieve nothing and receive only that which men have been willing to grant.

Simone de Beauvoir argues that women should be liberated from abstract, restrictive essences, like ‘femininity’, which continue to cement women in their subordinate place.

2012 Abstracts Stage 2

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, which Fine Art is Best of All? A Philosophical Inquiry into whether Beauty Has Disappeared from Modern Day Artworks.

The discussion of this paper will be centred on the object of art with reference to beauty. We know that beauty has played a vital role in the lives of humans for thousands of years, we seek it in natural and man-made objects, and we crave it. So, why is our art turning towards what we would generally consider to be ‘ugly’ aspects within our modern culture?

This project will focus on the following main questions;
 What do we mean when we call a work of art ‘beautiful’?
 Does art have to be beautiful?
 Has beauty been lost to the modern world?
 Has the understanding of what is beautiful changed in the modern world?
 Can beauty still be found?

We will be discussing the position held by Roger Scruton, who asserts the purpose of art is to provide the spectator with a sense of comfort, however, he states this rationale has been consequently lost to modern art as the artist is no longer concerned with technique or skill and instead focuses on self expression. We shall consider the views of Arthur Danto, who claims since the Brillo Box exhibition, art has become a purely philosophical endeavour. Our discussion will finally lead us to the views of Hans-Georg Gadamer who is unafraid to admit that there is an inevitable ‘gap’ between what we classify as traditional art and what we see as modern art, however, he sees philosophy as being able to bridge this gap. We will also look to his concept of ‘play’, ‘symbol’ and ‘festival’ which primarily allow for an object to be regarded as art.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Is Cooking an Art According to Kant’s Aesthetic?

My project is an investigation into gastronomy. My aim is to investigate whether cooking is regarded as an art or a craft or even maybe both. My territory is looking at two famous British chef’s Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver. My philosophical concept is going to be using Kant’s aesthetic judgement from his third critique.

According to Kant art cannot be part of an aesthetic judgement, however there is a sense of ambiguity when it comes to the ideas behind Blumenthal’s molecular gastronomy. What is the difference between the two chefs? Why can one make it more acceptable for gastronomy to become close to an aesthetic experience?

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

Yves Klein – the Painting of a Future Anticipated in the Present

Yves Klein produced over one thousand “works” during the seven year period he devoted to painting. Although he is most commonly associated with his monochrome canvases (leading the patenting of his own International Klein Blue; IKB), Klein’s work is not abstract but conceptual. However prolific, his production was not the end goal of his efforts, but rather only an “interval” in his spiritual accomplishment; the quest for pure sensibility; the quest for the void. Klein fought all his creative life the “French defect” (as his role model Eugene Delacroix first spoke in his journals) the obsession with line, compositional prison bars of our own contrivance that delineate and concretize existence, drawing boundaries for our emotional and spiritual life. His works are a final and fatal wounding for painting-the impossibility of painting thereafter. This project is an attempt to chart the aesthetic progression of his painting towards the immaterial and the revelation of the artistic project situated in the quotidian. A pictorial quest for ecstatic and immediately communicable emotion; the painting of a future anticipated in the present.

2007 Abstracts Stage 2

Aesthetics: from Creativity to Consumer Response

RKCR/Y&R (territory) has placed itself as the leading strategy within advertisement and marketing. TV commercials give maximum consumer response by using techniques that have been developed over the past sixty years. But how does the advertiser compel it’s target market to buy/ support a product? By means of market research a creative team can generate ideas from on statistics based on consumer needs. A transition from scientific method to artistic creativity takes place, from idea to screen attention to detail allows a campaign to become the centre of a product launch. If a idea is successful the return can be impressive. The M&S food campaign (object) is a perfect example of the results that can be achieved when a campaign is successful. The way an individual processes the information from screen and associates this with a product is the importance of this study, how can the creative department develop a campaign that will mentally intrigue its audience? Can psychology or philosophical ideas give an insight into the thought processes behind advertisement? Kantian thought can help us understand how the advertiser connects to the consumer. Free play for Kant allows the categories of the mind to be influenced by outside concepts; Kant speaks of music and art. Just as a piece of fine art can spark the imagination, this is how in Kantian theory the advertiser reaches the consumer. The advertiser essentially uses imagination as a tool to ‘communicate’ the product to the consumer. Kant’s work influences the ideas and philosophical concepts that this project discusses concerning the mental faculties of the consumer. This project uses Hume’s work connects the consumer and the creative thinker within advertisement. Hume speaks of how ideas are copied from impressions, in short Hume argues that the human imagination, idea’s, cognitive attributes are all part of our physical being. Hume highly supports this project’s research on ’the creative idea’. This project is concerned with how the human mind perceives external influences, and also how the mind has the ability to use the imagination as a means to an end. This study has centred M&S food as its example rather than interest. What is most important is the research into human understanding and the different faculties that are involved between the consumer and a product. TV commercials have many different levels, messages, objectives and specifications, the importance is the TV COMMERCIALS ABILITY TO USE THE HUMAN MIND AS A MARKETING TOOL.

2007 Abstracts Stage 2

Dorian Gray: Destroyed by Aestheticism

The basic aim of my project is to explore the fundamental themes of both aesthetic and ethical lives. What does drive us to make decisions and what should drive us to make decisions; in other words what sort of a life should we live? Through the exploration into my territory “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, I identified the key concept of aestheticism and observed the character’s downfall due to his choice of life. This led me to explore the life of the aesthete in comparison with the ethical in the context of existentialism. The existentialists believed that it is the choices that we make as individuals on how we live our lives that provides the central sense of meaning to our existence. In particular I chose to look at Kierkegaard and more specifically at his work “Either/Or.” Kierkegaard closely explores the relationship between the aesthetic life; where the individual is consumed by beauty and the fulfilment of the senses, and the ethical; where the individual bases decisions on commitment and rational thought. He shows that the aesthete is ultimately doomed to a life of despair due to the limited nature of such a life. Those that live within the ethical stage of life will on the other hand achieve happiness in balancing aesthetical values with ethical conduct and responsibility. The final thought on my project brings these values of aesthetics and ethics into modern society in order to observe the concepts in relation to today’s generation. It seems that the majority of today’s youth are being consumed by the media and having aesthetical values forced upon them. Magazines are primarily concerned with looks and bombard the senses with images telling the reader how to think of themselves and others. Little is done to promote ethical values in this modern age and as this worsens future generations could suffer.