Department of Philosophy
University of British Columbia
Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z1
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Dominic Lopes is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. A member of the UBC aesthetics group, he has worked on pictorial representation; the aesthetic and epistemic value of pictures, including scientific images; theories of art and its value; the ontology of art; computer art and new art forms; and aesthetic value, wherever it may be found.

His most recent books are a collection of his essays on methdological themes, Aesthetics on the Edge: Where Philosophy Meets the Human Sciences, and a book on Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value. A set of papers discussing his work is due for publication soon as Les Arts et les images: Dialogues avec Dominic McIver Lopes. Many of his books have been or are being translated into Chinese, Farsi, French, Japanese, and Korean. Lopes is now at work on a book on Cosmopolitan Aesthetics and some (surprise!) historical papers.

Lopes is president of the Canadian Philosophical Association, past president of the American Society for Aesthetics, a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association, the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Estetika, Cognitive Semiotics, and Imaginations. Working with Berys Gaut, he co-edits Wiley-Blackwell’s New Directions in Aesthetics book series.

In 2018, Lopes directed an ASA-funded faculty summer seminar funded on Beauty and Why It Matters. This year he co-organized a BSA-funded conference with Alex King on Aesthetics in the Reasons Revolution.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a 2017-19 Canada Council Killam Research Fellow, and he has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the National Humanities Center, Distinguished Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and Leverhulme Visiting Research Professor at the University of Warwick, in addition to holding visiting positions at Ritsumeikan University, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and the University of Miami. He has won two teaching awards, a Philosophical Quarterly essay prize, a Canadian Philosophy Association essay prize, the American Society for Aesthetics Outstanding Monograph Prize, the Killam Research Prize, and the APA's Quinn Prize.


PHIL 100 (2019–20) Introduction to Philosophy

PHIL 531 (2019) Seminar in Political Theory: Cosmopolitan Aesthetics


Peter Wall Workshop on Visual Literacy: Seeing, Making, and Reading Images Across the Disciplines, UBC, October 24-25, 2019
Co-Directed with Tara Mayer

Vienna Summer School on Representation in Art and Science, University of Vienna, July 2020
Co-Directed with Chiara Ambrosio and Angela Breitenbach

upcoming talks

Cosmopolitan Aesthetics, Manuel Davenport Lecture, American Society for Aesthetics Rocky Mountain Division, July 12–14, 2019

On the Question, How Should I Live, Aesthetically? Author-Meets-Critics: Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value, British Society of Aesthetics, Oxford, September 6–8, 2019

Replies to Hopkins, Soucek, and Zuckert, Author-Meets-Critics: Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value, American Society for Aesthetics, Phoenix, October 9–12, 2019

TBA, Department of Philosophy, Boston University, November 22, 2019

TBA, Invited Symposium on Agency and Aesthetics, Society for the Philosophy of Agency, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, San Francisco, April 8–10, 2020

Outlier Aesthetics, Session in Memory of Anita Silvers, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division, San Francisco, April 8-11, 2020

TBA, Presidential Address, Canadian Philosophical Association, London, 2020


Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) [abstract] []

Aesthetics on the Edge: Where Philosophy Meets the Human Sciences (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) [abstract] []

Four Arts of Photography (Oxford: Wiley, 2016) [abstract] [] [wiley]

Beyond Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) [abstract] []

A Philosophy of Computer Art (London: Routledge, 2009) [book web site]

Winner of the 2009 Outstanding Book Prize from the American Society for Aesthetics
Designated an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice (the American Library Association)

Sight and Sensibility: Evaluating Pictures (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 [abstract] [] [sample chapter]

Understanding Pictures (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). Reprinted as Comprendre les images: Une théorie de la représentation iconique, trans. Laure Blanc-Benon (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2014) [abstract] []

edited works

Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, 3rd ed., ed. with Berys Gaut (London: Routledge, 2000, 2005, 2013) [abstract] [] [routledge]

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism Special Issue on The Media of Photography, ed. with Diarmuid Costello 70.1 (2012). Reprinted as The Media of Photography. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012 [wiley]

Knowing Art: Aesthetics and Epistemology, ed. with Matthew Kieran. Philosophical Studies Series 107 (Dordrecht: Springer, 2006) [abstract] [] [springer]

Philosophical Studies. 127.1 (2006) [springer]

Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts, ed. with Matthew Kieran (London: Routledge, 2003) [abstract] []

Philosophy of Literature: An Anthology, ed. with Eileen John (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003) [abstract] []

selected articles

The Neo-Picturesque, with Susan Herrington, Philosophical Perspectives on Ruins, Monuments, and Memorials, ed. Jeanette Bicknell, Jennifer Judkins, and Carolyn Korsmeyer. London: Routledge, 2019, pp. 133-47 [abstract] []

A Layered, Bounded, Integrated Approach to Research on the Arts Across Disciplines, Leonardo [abstract] [leonardo]

Spontaneity and Materiality: What Photography Is in the Photography of James Welling, with Diarmuid Costello, Art History 42.1 (2019) 154-76 [Wiley]

Go Social! Replies to Abell and Atencia-Linares, Aisthesis 11.2 (2018) 227-9 [Aisthesis]

Pictures: Their Power in Practice, The Pleasure of Pictures: Pictorial Experience and Aesthetic Appreciation, ed. Jerome Pelletier and Alberto Voltolini. London: Routledge, 2018, pp. 36-51 []

Disputing Taste, The Semantics of Aesthetic Judgement, ed. James O. Young (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017) 61-81

Beauty, the Social Network, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47.4 (2017) 437-53 [abstract] [CJP]

In the Eye of the Beholder, Art, Mind, and Narrative: Themes from the Work of Peter Goldie, ed. Julian Dodd (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) []

Making, Meaning, and Meaning by Making, Nonsite 19 (2016) [nonsite]

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, ed. Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabo Gendler, and John Hawthorne (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) []

Aesthetic Experts, Guides to Value, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73.3 (2015) 235-46 [abstract] [wiley]

Feckless Reason, Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind, ed. Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, and Aaron Meskin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) [oup]

Art and Perception, Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception, ed. Mohan Matthen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) [oxford handbooks]

Photography and the "Picturesque Agent," Critical Inquiry 38.4 (2012) 855-69 [jstor]

The Myth of (Non-aesthetic) Artistic Value, Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2011) 518-36 [abstract] [Wiley]

Aesthetic Theory and Aesthetic Science: Prospects for Integration, with Vincent Bergeron, Aesthetic Science: Connecting Minds, Brains, and Experience, ed. Steven Palmer and Arthur Shimamura (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) [abstract]

An Empathic Eye, Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, ed. Peter Goldie and Amy Coplan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011) [abstract] []

Picture This: Image-Based Demonstratives, Philosophical Perspectives on Depiction, ed. Catharine Abell and Katerina Bantinaki (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) [abstract] [] [oup]

Aesthetic Acquaintance, The Modern Schoolman Special Issue on Varieties of Perception 86.2-3 (2009) 267-81

Objects of Appropriation, with Andrea Naomi Walsh, The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation, ed. James O. Young and Conrad Brunk (Oxford: Wiley, 2009) []

Drawing in a Social Science: Lithic Illustration, Perspectives on Science 17 (2009) 5-25 [abstract] [project muse]

Hearing and Seeing Musical Expression, with Vincent Bergeron, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2009) 1-16 [abstract]

Genre, with Brian Laetz, Routledge Companion to Film and Philosophy, ed. Paisley Livingston and Carl Plantinga (London: Routledge, 2008)

Virtues of Art: Good Taste, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (2008) 197-211 [abstract] [synergy]

Nobody Needs a Theory of Art, Journal of Philosophy 105 (2008) 109-27. Reprinted in The Nature of Art: An Anthology, ed. Wartenberg, 3rd ed. New York: Wadsworth, 2011. [abstract] [jphil]

True Appreciation, Photography and Philosophy: New Essays on the Pencil of Nature, ed. Scott Walden (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008) [abstract] []

Art Without 'Art,' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007) 1-15 [abstract] [oup]

Conceptual Art Is Not What It Seems, Philosophy and Conceptual Art, ed. Peter Goldie and Elizabeth Schellekens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) [abstract] []

Shikinen Sengu: The Ontology of Architecture in Japan, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2007) 77-84 [abstract] [synergy]

The Domain of Depiction, in Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, ed. Matthew Kieran (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) [abstract] []

Directive Pictures, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (2004) 189-96 [abstract] [synergy]

The Aesthetics of Photographic Transparency, Mind 112 (2003) 335-48. Reprinted in Philosophy of Film: An Anthology, ed. Noël Carroll and Jinhee Choi (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005) and also in reprinted in Arguing about Art, 3rd ed. (London: Routledge, 2007) [abstract] [oup]

Pictures and the Representational Mind, Monist 86.4 (2003): 35-52. Reprinted in Italian translation in Discipline Filosofiche 25 (2005) 59-80 [abstract] [ebsco]

Digital Art, Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information, ed. Luciano Floridi (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003) [abstract] []

Out of Sight, Out of Mind, in Imagination, Philosophy, and the Arts, ed. Matthew Kieran and Dominic McIver Lopes (London: Routledge, 2003) [abstract]

Vision, Touch, and the Value of Pictures, British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002) 187-97 [abstract] [oup]

The Ontology of Interactive Art, Journal of Aesthetic Education 35.4 (2001) 65-81 [abstract] [jstor]

What Is It Like to See with Your Ears? The Representational Theory of Mind, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2000) 439-53 [abstract] [jstor]

From Languages of Art to Art in Mind, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58 (2000) 227-31 [abstract] [jstor]

Mimesis and Moral Vision, Soundings 83 (2000) 801-21 [abstract]

Pictorial Color: Aesthetics and Cognitive Science, Philosophical Psychology 12 (1999) 415-28 [abstract] [ingenta]

Imagination, Illusion and Experience in Film, Philosophical Studies 89 (1998) 343-53 [abstract] [springer]

Art Media and the Sense Modalities: Tactile Pictures, Philosophical Quarterly 47 (1997) 425-40 [abstract] [synergy] [jstor]

Pictorial Realism, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 53 (1995) 277-85 [abstract] [jstor]

Pictures, Styles and Purposes, British Journal of Aesthetics 32 (1992) 330-41 [abstract] [oup]