Phone: (303) 492-6593
Office: HLMS 286
Information: Faculty Page
Web page: http://spot.colorado.edu/~jafisher
Curriculum Vitae: Brief Vita08wpdVar.htm
- "Taking Sympathy Seriously: A Defense of Our Moral Psychology Toward Animals," Environmental Ethics 9 (1987): 197-215.
- Review of Photography and Philosophy: Essays on the Pencil of Nature, by Scott Walden (ed.). Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2009.02.18
- Reflecting on Art, Mayfield Publishing Co/ McGraw-Hill, 1993.
- "Disambiguating Anthropomorphism: An Interdisciplinary Review," Perspectives in Ethology, Vol. 9 eds. P.P.G. Bateson and Peter Klopfer, pp. 49-85 (NYC: Plenum Publishing Co., 1991)
- "Discovery, Creation, and Musical Works," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49:2 (Spring 1991), pp. 129-136.
- "Why Potentiality Does Not Matter: A Reply to Stone," Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 24:2 (June 1994), pp. 261-279.
- "Is There a Problem of Indiscernible Counterparts?," The Journal of Philosophy, 92:9 (1995), pp. 467-484. Reprinted: The Philosopher's Annual XVII: The Ten Best Articles to Appear in Print in 1995.
- "What The Hills Are Alive With--In Defense of the Sounds of Nature," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 56:2 (1998), pp. 167-179. Reprinted: The Aesthetics of Natural Environments ed. Carlson and Berleant (Peterborough Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004), pp. 232 - 252.
- "Rock 'n' Recording: The Ontological Complexity of Rock Music," in Musical Worlds: New Directions in the Philosophy of Music ed. Philip Alperson (University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1998), pp. 109-123.
- "The Value of Natural Sounds," The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 33:3 (1999), pp. 26-42
- "Environmental Aesthetics," in the Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics ed. Jerrold Levinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 667-678.
- "On Carroll's Enfranchisement of Mass Art as Art," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 62:1 (Winter 2004), pp. 57-62.
- "High Art vs. Low Art," in Routledge Companion to Aesthetics 2nd ed. B. Gaut & D. Lopes (London: Routledge Press, 2005), pp. 527-540.
- "Performing Nature," Environmental Philosophy IV: I-II (Fall, Spring 2007), pp. 15-28.
- "Is It Worth It? Lintott and Ethically Evaluating Environmental Art," Ethics, Place & Environment, 10:3 (October 2007), pp. 279-286.
- "Popular Music," in the Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music, edited by Gracyk and Kania (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 405-415.
- "Making a Space for Song," (with Jeanette Bicknell) Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 71:1 (January 2013), pp. 1 -11.
JOHN A. FISHER (Minnesota, Ph.D. 1971), Professor Emeritus. Growing up in Minneapolis, Fisher was always interested in the sciences. He took an undergraduate degree in physics from the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota. While an undergraduate, he was surprised, however, to find that his most engaging classes were in the humanities. A summer spent in bed with mono reading Russell’s History of Western Philosophy – a book he later came to realize was wildly unreliable – got him interested in philosophy. In his senior year, having fulfilled all of the requirements for a bachelor of physics degree, he took only philosophy courses. He found that in contrast to physics, where the courses emphasized mastering various equations and how to apply them, philosophy was an area where one could appreciate ferment and debate about fundamental questions, both questions that are abstract (“What is causation?”) and those that relate to our lives (“What am I?”). Philosophy was an area where raising questions about the foundations of a field was encouraged, and where the answers did not appear to have been predetermined, where one could jump in and make a contribution. He was hooked. Having found a degree of meaning and freedom in philosophy that he had not in physics, he shifted to philosophy, focusing in graduate school on the sorts of problems that are found in Russell, questions about knowledge, perception, mind, and philosophical methodology.
Fisher came to Colorado initially interested in epistemology, especially skepticism, as well as in such philosophy-of-language issues as meaning, linguistic rules, and knowledge of language – the sort of issues dealt with in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, Quine’s Word and Object, and Chomsky’s Cartesian Linguistics. In the late 1980s he published Reflecting on Art, which explores answers to classical challenges proposed by Plato, Tolstoy, and others to the value of the arts. Since then he has concentrated on issues in the philosophy of art and aesthetics, especially on topics that involve overlap between two fields or that are interdisciplinary, such as environmental aesthetics and philosophy of music.
He remains fascinated nonetheless by the most general philosophical issues, those that Russell called “The Problems of Philosophy” in his famous and enduring textbook.
Areas of Interest: Aesthetics, Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology.
Current Research: The aesthetics of nature, aesthetic value and environmental ethics, the definition of art, songs as musical works, the ontology of recordings, sounds of nature, aesthetic properties, a cross-cultural definition of music, performers as artists, animal mentality.
For more information, see Professor Fisher's personal website and CV.