"Creative Characters", The Philosophers Magazine, Iss. 58, 3rd Quarter 2012.

Is great art created by natural ability or hard work? This piece challenges preconceptions by considering the case of Lee, a factory worker from Channel 4's Hidden Talent, and work by someone from Feltham juvenile prison alongside Van Gogh.

 

"Painter at the Court of Milan", The Philosopher's Magazine, Iss. 57, 2nd Quarter 2012.

A review of a remarkable exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's work at the National Gallery, London, leading to reflections on art that stands the test of time.

 

“The X Factor: Beauty in Planning”, People and Places, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, 2010. 

Thinkers from the 18th century to the present have sought to understand why beauty matters. In this piece, commissioned by CABE and the AHRC, Matthew Kieran argues that beauty is what happens when we respond to our practical needs with imagination and integrity. It is not just intrinsically valuable but part of what makes a place economically and socially successful. Planners, public policy and government should recognize it as a legitimate and practical objective.

 

“We Know What We Like . . .”, Times Higher, 2008.

We might know what we like but our tastes are swayed by price, packaging and other social factors in ways we’re often unaware of. This piece considers the fragility of aesthetic opinions and whether there really is such a thing as good taste.

 

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