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Twenty-Fifth British Wittgenstein Society Lecture: Sonia Sedivy: Wittgenstein, Plurality and Context:

June 1, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Wittgenstein, Plurality and Context:

Art as a Case Study

Sonia Sedivy

June 1st, 2021

@ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Registration for the meeting is essential. Please register via this link. Note that the meeting will open at 6pm. You may be held in the Zoom Waiting Room before that time. Thank you for your patience. Please also note that the session will be recorded and the video posted on this site. Please keep your webcam off if you would rather not appear in the video recording.



About the Speaker
About the Reporter

About the Speaker

Prof. Sedivy's research interests range across issues in philosophy of mind and perception, aesthetics, and the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein.  In aesthetics, her work focuses on visual art, beauty and aesthetic properties.  Her recent book, Beauty and the End of Art, Wittgenstein, Plurality and Perception (Bloomsbury, 2016) uses Wittgenstein’s later work and contemporary theory of perception to offer new approaches to art and beauty that explain the historical and cross-cultural plurality of both.  She has edited a collection of newly commissioned articles Art, Representation, and Make-Believe: Essays on the Philosophy of Kendall L. Walton forthcoming this June 2021 (Routledge).

Her current book project develops a new approach to perception that pays attention to aesthetics from the outset Perception, Understanding and Aesthetics.

For more information visit Prof. Sedivy’s personal website.


Sedivy, S. (Ed.). (2021). Art, Representation, and Make-Believe: Essays on the Philosophy of Kendall L. Walton (1st edition). Routledge. Cite
Sedivy, S. (2018). Aesthetic Properties, History and Perception. British Journal of Aesthetics, 58, 345–362. https://doi.org/10.1093/aesthj/ayy039 Cite
Sedivy, S. (2016). Beauty and the End of Art: Wittgenstein, Plurality and Perception (1 edition). Bloomsbury Academic. Cite
Sedivy, S. (2014). Art from a Wittgensteinian Perspective: Constitutive Norms in Context. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 72(1), 67–82. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/jaac.12043 Cite


This paper examines ways Wittgenstein’s work encourages pluralism in how we understand our endeavours, practices and at least some values. I will explore how Wittgenstein’s later writings open us to pluralism by considering his emphasis that we need to keep the historically contextual nature of what we do and what we say in view. This will involve going over some familiar territory: Wittgenstein’s emphasis on the diversity of language uses and their holistic or contextual nature; his cautions against definitional explanations in all cases; and his explorations of how we follow rules. But I will do so with an eye towards the role of historical context and pluralistic explanation. I will use art as a case study. This involves taking a look at disputes over definitions of art, the role of artistic practices and the nature of aesthetic value.


available after the event


available after the event

About the reporter

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