Department of Philosophy

Keren Gorodeisky and Eric Marcus Win the 2020 Danto/ASA Prize

Published on Aug 20, 2019

The American Philosophical Association and the American Society for Aesthetics are pleased to announce that Professors Keren Gorodeisky and Eric Marcus (Auburn University) have been selected as the winners of the second Arthur Danto/American Society for Aesthetics Prize for their paper “Aesthetic Rationality.”

In the words of the joint APA/ASA selection committee: 

“Aesthetic Rationality,” by Keren Gorodeisky and Eric Marcus, is an ambitious and original account of the nature of aesthetic judgments. It reconciles a seeming contradiction between two commonplaces, which we can only judge for ourselves, and we can be led to doubt ourselves by the judgments of others. In an echo of the work of Arthur Danto, in whose name this prize is given, the paper is a model of how to marry core problems in aesthetics with issues in philosophy more broadly.

The article was published in the Journal of Philosophy 115 (3): 113–40 (2018)

Abstract: We argue that the aesthetic domain falls inside the scope of rationality, but does so in its own way. Aesthetic judgment is a stance neither on whether a proposition is to be believed nor on whether an action is to be done, but on whether an object is to be appreciated. Aesthetic judgment is simply appreciation. Correlatively, reasons supporting theoretical, practical and aesthetic judgments operate in fundamentally different ways. The irreducibility of the aesthetic domain is due to the fact that aesthetic judgment is a sensory-affective disclosure of, and responsiveness to, merit: it is a feeling that presents an object, and is responsive to it, as worthy of being liked. Aesthetic judgment is thus shown to be, on the hand, first personal and non-transferable; and, on the other hand, a presentation of reality. We thereby capture what is right in both subjectivist and objectivist conceptions of aesthetic judgment.

The selection committee also awarded Honorable Mention for A.W. Eaton’s article, “‘A Lady on the Street but a Freak in the Bed’: On the Distinction Between Erotic Art and Pornography,” published in the British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (4): 469–88 (2018).

The Danto/ASA Prize, in the amount of $1,000, is awarded to a member of the APA and the ASA for the best paper in the field of aesthetics, broadly understood. In addition, a symposium in honor of the recipient of the prize is held at the APA Eastern Division meeting, normally the next such meeting following the selection of the prizewinner. This prize is in honor of the late Arthur Danto, a past president of the APA Eastern Division.

The prize is awarded in even-numbered years, with the next award expected in 2022. The next submission deadline is May 31, 2021, for articles published in 2019 and 2020. For guidelines, see the ASA website.

About the APA

Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy, both within the academy and in the public arena. The APA supports the professional development of philosophers at all levels and works to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry.

About the ASA

The American Society for Aesthetics was founded in 1942 to promote study, research, discussion, and publication in aesthetics. “Aesthetics,” in this connection, is understood to include all studies of the arts and related types of experience from a philosophic, scientific, or other theoretical standpoint, including those of psychology, sociology, anthropology, cultural history, art criticism, and education. “The arts” include the visual arts, literature, music, and theater arts.

Last Updated: February 07, 2014