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Ted Cohen

ted cohen

Ted Cohen was Professor in Philosophy, the College, the Committee on Art and Design, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1962, the Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1967. Cohen worked mainly in the philosophy of art. Among his recent publications are the book Jokes, and the essays, "Identifying with Metaphor," "Metaphor, Feeling, and Narrative," and "Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics."

Professor Cohen passed away Friday, March 14, 2014.
An online guestbook for friends, students, and colleagues can be found here.

 

CV (PDF)

Ted Cohen's Recorded Interviews and Lectures

Ted Cohen on Elucidations (Department Podcast Series)

 

Recent News

  • "Latke or Hamantash? University of Chicago Profs Debate Superior Jewish Food" by Sam Cholke, DNAinfo.com, February 12, 2013 - Link
  • Ted Cohen gave the talk "Kings and Salesmen" at the University of Chicago's Humanities Day on October 20, 2012. Link
  • The 64th annual Latke-Hamantash Debate took place on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at Mandel Hall and featured Ted Cohen as the emcee. The Latke-Hamantash debate has been a UChicago tradition since 1946. SlideshowUniversity of Chicago News
  • Additional past news and announcements can be found on our "News" and "Announcements" pages here.

Books

  • Thinking of others: on the talent for metaphor - Link
  • Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters - Link
  • The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate (with Ruth Fredman Cernea) - Link
  • Essays in Kant's aesthetics (Ed. with Paul Guyer) - Link

Selected Publications

  • Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics (PDF)
  • Humor (PDF)
  • Metaphor (DOC)
  • An Emendation in Kant's Theory of Taste
    Noûs, Vol. 24, No. 1, On the Bicentenary of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgement (Mar., 1990), pp. 137-145 (Link)
  • Notes on Metaphor
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Spring, 1976), pp. 249-259 (Link)
  • High and Low Thinking about High and Low Art
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 51, No. 2, Aesthetics: Past and Present. A Commemorative Issue Celebrating 50 Years of The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism and the American Society for Aesthetics (Spring, 1993), pp. 151-156 (Link)
  • High and Low Art, and High and Low Audiences
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 57, No. 2, Aesthetics and Popular Culture (Spring, 1999), pp. 137-143 (Link)
  • Identifying with Metaphor: Metaphors of Personal Identification
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 57, No. 4 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 399-409 (Link)
  • A Correction by Ted Cohen
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Summer, 2000), p. 303 (Link)
  • The Possibility of Art: Remarks on a Proposal by Dickie
    The Philosophical Review, Vol. 82, No. 1 (Jan., 1973), pp. 69-82 (Link)
  • Figurative Speech and Figurative Acts
    The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 72, No. 19, Seventy-Second Annual Meeting American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division (Nov., 1975), pp. 669-684 (Link)
  • Metaphor and the Cultivation of Intimacy, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 5, No. 1, Special Issue on Metaphor (Autumn, 1978), pp. 3-12 (Link)
  • Reflexions on "Las Meninas": Paradox Lost (with Joel Snyder)
    Critical Inquiry, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Winter, 1980), pp. 429-447 (Link)
  • Aesthetic/Non-aesthetic and the concept of taste: a critique of Sibley's position
    Theoria, Volume 39 Issue 1-3 Page 113-152, April 1973 (Link)
  • Metaphor, Feeling, and Narrative
    Philosophy and Literature - Volume 21, Number 2, October 1997, pp. 223-244 (Link)
  • Chapter on METAPHOR
    in The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics By Jerrold Levinson, Oxford University Press (Link)

Please see my CV (PDF) for a complete list of publications.

Selected Reviews by Ted Cohen

  • Author(s) of Review: Ted Cohen
    Reviewed Work(s): Beauty Restored by Mary Mothersill
    The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 87, No. 12 (Dec., 1990), pp. 702-708 (Link)
  • Author(s) of Review: Ted Cohen
    Reviewed Work(s): Language and Aesthetics by Benjamin R. Tilghman
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Winter, 1975), pp. 204-206 (Link)
  • The facts of Narrative: A response to Nelson Goodman
    Synthese, Volume 46, Number 3 / March, 1981 (Link)
  • Philosophy in America: Remarks on John McCumber's Time in the Ditch: American Philosophy and the McCarthy Era
    Philosophical Studies, Volume 108, Numbers 1-2 / March, 2002 (Link)

Selected Reviews of Ted Cohen's Work

  • Author of Review: Barry C. Smith, Reviewed Work: Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters, Times Literary Supplement, 23 June, 2000 
  • Author(s) of Review: Jerrold Levinson, Reviewed Work(s): Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters by Ted Cohen Mind, Vol. 111, No. 442 (Apr., 2002), pp. 380-385 (Link)
  • Author(s) of Review: Jens Kulenkampff, Reviewed Work(s): Essays in Kant's Aesthetics by Ted Cohen; Paul Guyer
    The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 41, No. 3 (Spring, 1983), pp. 337-340 (Link)
  • "You call that a breakfast?" by Adam Phillips, review of Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters in the London Review of Books, Vol. 22 No. 4 · 17 February 2000, pages 14-15 - Link
  • Garry Hagberg reviews Thinking of others: on the talent for metaphor in "Mind Association" - PDF
  • Peter Kivy reviews Thinking of others: on the talent for metaphor in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism - PDF
  • Jeanette Bicknell reviews Thinking of others: on the talent for metaphor in Philosophy in Review - PDF

Courses

23305/33305. History of Aesthetics. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, and Collingwood among others. (A) (I)Winter 2014.

21009/31009. Aesthetics. PQ: Consent of instructor. This course introduces problems in the philosophy of art with both traditional and contemporary texts. Topics include the definition of art, representation, expression, metaphor, and taste. Autumn. (A) (I) Autumn 2013.

20720/30720. Ordinary Language Philosophy. Ordinary Language Philosophy:  An eclectic reading of some of the main work that was produced by the “school” that developed mainly in Oxford just after World War II, including essays by John Wisdom, Stuart Hampshire, J.O. Urmson, P. F. Strawson, and J. L. Austin among others. (III) Spring 2012.

23900/33900. Austin and Grice. Course readings are in the works of J. L. Austin, mainly How to Do Things with Words, and essays related to those lectures. If time permits, we consider later developments in the works of Grice and Cavell, among others. (B) (III) Autumn 2009.

21101/31101. Introduction to the Philosophy of Music. Open to college and grad students. An introduction to topics in the philosophy of music, mainly by way of readings from contemporary authors. Among topics to be covered are: What is a musical work, what kind of thing? Is "absolute music" better than music with a text or a program? What explains the emotional effect of music? Is opera the best or the worst of the musical arts, or neither? Authors to be read include Peter Kivy, Stephen Davies, Jerrold Levinson, Kendall Walton, and Jenefer Roibinson. If time permits we will consider an earlier author, Adorno. (A) Spring 2007.

21210/31210. Philosophy and Literature. This course is a reading of works by a variety of contemporary authors who deal with the question of whether, and how, fiction and philosophy are related to one another. (A) Winter 2005, Winter 2007, Winter 2010, Winter 2011, Autumn 2013.

21900/31300. Aesthetics of Hume and Kant. Open to college and grad students. Prerequisites: Prior knowledge of Hume's Treatise and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is useful but not required. The theory of taste and one main line in modern philosophy of art begins with these authors. Principal readings are Hume's "Of the Standard of Taste" and "Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion," and much of Kant's Critique of Judgment. Spring 2006. Autumn 2011.

21990/31990. The Concept of Taste. Open to college and grad students. The philosophical theory of taste begins in the 18th century, especially in the writing of Hume and Kant. The course begins with those authors and then moves to literature in contemporary aesthetics. Autumn 2003.

22502. Stories. Open to college students. A consideration of stories, especially fictions, with regard to our engagement with them. Relevant questions will be, how do we distinguish truth from falsity within entirely fictional texts, what kinds of feelings can we have for people and things known not to exist, what-if anything-can stories teach, and so on. Winter 2008.

23900/33900. Austin. Open to college and grad students. Our readings are in the works of J. L. Austin, mainly How to Do Things with Words, and essays related to those lectures. If time permits, we consider later developments in the works of Grice and Cavell, among others. Autumn 2005, Autumn 2007.

31310. Aesthetics and Theory of Criticism. Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Undergraduates with consent of instructor. This course is an introduction to problems in the philosophy of art with both traditional and contemporary texts. Topics include the definition of art, representation, expression, metaphor, and taste. Winter 2005, Winter 2007.

51700. Readings in Contemporary Philosophy of Art. Open to grad students. Winter 2006.

51900. Contemporary Aesthetics. Open to grad students. Recent essays in analytical aesthetics will be discussed. Spring 2003.