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. He works mainly in aesthetics and is a member of the UBC aesthetics group. His research focusses on pictorial representation and perception; 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.

He is working on a book entitled Being for Beauty: Aesthetic Agency and Value, a collection of his essays that explore methodological innovation in aesthetics, and a paper co-authored with Diarmuid Costello on the work of photographer James Welling, as well as papers on aesthetic perception, aesthetic disagreement, and methodology in the philosophy of art. Paloma Atencia-Linares recently interviewed him in the Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics and Michel-Antoine Xhignesse interviewed him in ASAGE,

Lopes is 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: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies. Working with Berys Gaut he co-edits Wiley-Blackwell’s New Directions in Aesthetics book series.

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 Indiana University Teaching Excellence Awards, a Philosophical Quarterly Essay Prize, the American Society for Aesthetics Outstanding Monograph Prize, and a Killam Research Prize.


PHIL 339 Philosophy of Art (Winter II)
PHIL 539 Seminar in Aesthetics

upcoming talks

Action Is Where the Action Is, Aesthetic Normativity Conference, Salt Lake City, May, 2017

Aesthetic Experience Is Not Where the Action Is, Keynote Address, Nordic Society for Aesthetics, Bergen June 8–10, 2017

TBA, Max-Bense Lecture, University of Stuttgart, June 13, 2017

TBA, Department of Philosophy, University of Stuttgart, June 14, 2017

Reply to Critics, Authors-Meet-Critics: Diarmuid Costello, On Photography, and Dominic McIver Lopes, Four Arts of Photography, American Society for Aesthetics, New Orleans, November 15–18, 2017


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

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

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

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]