The Aristotelian Society

The Aristotelian Society

est. 1880

the inaugural address



Artists often think of themselves as engaged in a project of understanding things. Many of those who look at, listen to, or read works of art think that they emerge from the experience with their understanding enriched: that’s the point of it, they think. What do all these people think they understand through art? Everything: people, life, the world. Here’s an ambitious claim which I think they’re committed to: (A) One of the principal functions of representational art is to enable us to understand the world as it is in itself in a particular, distinctive way. My aim here is to explain and argue for that ambitious claim.


Michael Morris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sussex. He has worked on Plato, Wittgenstein, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of art, and metaphysics, but is increasingly focussing on the relation between representation and reality. He has written four books: The Good and the True (Oxford, 1992); An Introduction to the Philosophy of Language (Cambridge, 2006); The Routledge GuideBook to Wittgenstein and the Tractatus (Routledge, 2008); and Real Likenesses: Representation in Paintings, Photographs, and Novels (Oxford, 2020).

further info

future joint sessions

2021 joint session:

july 2021

2022 joint session:
St Andrews

july 2022

2023 joint session:

july 2023

supplementary volume

The inaugural address and symposia for the Joint Session are published in the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volume, which is published digitally and in hardcover every June. The Supplementary Volume is sent to subscribing members of the Society in categories 4 and 5.

Members in other categories can purchase the hardcover Supplementary Volume from the Online Shop. Volumes will also be available at the registration desk during the conference.

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The 2018 Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association | Cardiff University

past conferences

2019 joint session:

19 - 21 july 2019

2018 joint session:

6 - 8 july 2018

2017 joint session:

14 - 16 july 2017

subscribing memberships

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