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David Davies

David Davies


Office: Leacock 912

Office hours: Thurs 1-2 p.m.

Tel: 514-398-6066

Email: david [dot] davies [at] mcgill [dot] ca (David Davies)


David Davies has taught at McGill since 1987. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario (1987), following a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Wadham College, Oxford, 1970) and an MA in Philosophy (Manitoba 1979). His doctoral research and much of his research for the following few years was on the Realism/Anti-Realism debate in contemporary metaphysics, and on related issues in the Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Language. For the past 10 years his research has focussed mainly on metaphysical and epistemological issues in the Philosophy of Art, where he has also published widely on topics relating to literature, film, photography, music, performance, and the visual arts. He has been a director, since 1998, of the annual Philosophy of Science conference held at the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and is a founding director of the Philosophy of Art conference held in the same location starting in 2012.

 Selected recent publications (please see link to cv for full details):

 Books and Monographs

Philosophy of The Performing Arts (Oxford: Blackwell, 2011)

Aesthetics and Literature (London: Continuum, 2007).

Art as Performance (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004) [Chinese translation by Fong Jun (Nanjing: Jiangsu Meishu Chubanshe (Jiangsu Fine Arts Publishing House), 2008]

Edited books

The Thin Red Line, edited collection of papers in the series ‘Philosophers on Film’. (London: Routledge, 2008).

Articles Published or Forthcoming

“Watching the unwatchable: Irréversible, Empire, and the paradox of intentionally inaccessible art’, forthcoming (2013) in Jerrold Levinson and Pierre Destree, eds., Suffering art gladly: the paradox of negative emotions (London: Macmillan Palgrave).

“Categories of Art”, forthcoming (2013) in the third edition of the Routledge Companion to Aesthetics (London: Routledge).

“Dancing around the issues: prospects for an empirically grounded philosophy of dance”, forthcoming in a symposium on Dance Art and Science, ed. Renee Conroy and Julie vanCamp, in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Spring 2013.     

“What type of ‘type’ is a film?”, forthcoming (February 2013) in Christy Mag Uidhir, ed., Art and Abstract Objects (Oxford:OUP), 263-83.

“Pornography, art, and the intended response of the receiver?”, forthcoming (January 2013) in Jerrold Levinson and Hans Maes, eds., Aesthetics and Pornography (Oxford: OUP).

“The Dialogue between Words and Music in the Composition and Comprehension of Song”, forthcoming (2012) in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, special edition on “Song”.

“Enigmatic variations”, The Monist 95.4 (2012), 644-63.

“Can philosophical thought experiments be ‘screened’?”, in James Robert Brown, Melanie Frappier, and Letitia Meynell, eds., Thought Experiments in Science, Philosophy, and the Arts (London: Routledge, 2012), 223-38.      

“‘I’ll be your mirror’?: embodied agency, dance, and neuroscience”, in Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens, eds., The Aesthetic Mind: Philosophy and Psychology (Oxford: OUP, 2011), 346-56.

“Digital technology, indexicality, and cinema”, Rivista di estetica 46 (2011), special edition on Ontology of Cinema, 45-60.

“Medium in music”, in Theodore Gracyk and Andrew Kania, eds.,  Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. (London: Routledge, 2011), 48-58.

“Multiple instances and multiple ‘instances’”, British Journal of Aesthetics 50.4 (2010), 411-26.

“Learning through fictional narratives in art and science”, in Roman Frigg and Matthew Hunter, eds., Beyond Mimesis and Convention: Representation in Art and Science (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 262), (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010), 51-70.

“Eluding Wilson’s ‘elusive narrators’”, Philosophical Studies 147.3 (2010), 387-94.

“Scruton on the inscrutability of photographs”, British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (2009), 341-55.

”The primacy of practice in the ontology of art”, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67.2 (2009), 159-71.

“Dodd on the ‘audibility’ of musical works”, British Journal of Aesthetics 49.2 (2009), 99-108.

“The artistic relevance of creativity”, in K. Bardsley, D. Dutton. M. Krausz, eds., The Concept of Creativity in Science and Art, 2nd ed. (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 213-33.

“On the very idea of ‘Outsider Art’”, British Journal of Aesthetics 49.1 (2009), 25-41.

“Susan Sontag, Diane Arbus, and the ethical dimensions of photography”, in Gary Hagberg, ed., Art and Ethical Criticism (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008), 211-28.

“Collingwood’s ‘performance’ theory of art”, British Journal of Aesthetics 48.2 (2008), 162-74.

“How photographs ‘signify’ the world”, in Scott Walden (ed.), Photography and Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008), 167-86.

“Telling pictures: The place of narrative in late-modern visual art”, in Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens (eds)., Philosophy and Conceptual Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 138-56.

“Arts and intentions: reflections on Currie’s interdisciplinary turn”, in British Journal of Aesthetics 46.2 (2006). 192-203.

“Against ‘enlightened empiricism’”, in Matthew Kieran, ed., Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), 22-34.

“The imaged, the imagined, and the imaginary”, in Matthew Kieran and Dom Lopes, eds., Imagination, Philosophy and the Arts (London: Routledge, 2003), pp. 225-44.

"Medium", in Jerrold Levinson, ed., Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 181-91.

"Fiction", in Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, ed. Berys Gaut and Dom Lopes (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 263-73.

"Artistic intentions and the ontology of art", British Journal of Aesthetics 39.2 (1999), pp. 148-62.

"On gauging attitudes", Philosophical Studies 90 (1998), pp. 129-54.

"How sceptical is Kripke's 'sceptical solution'?", Philosophia (1998), pp. 119-140.