John L. Zeimbekis

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities

20002001 Forum on Style

John L. Zeimbekis

Philosophy, Contemporary Esthetics

Definition of Styles and the Problem of Individuality

Style is not a material object but a way of proceeding within a given practice. As such, it requires a definition of its objects as tokens with a specified finality or use. Attempts to define this finality are attempts to define the agent's style. To philosophically ground the possibility of defining artistic styles, Dr. Zeimbekis uses theories from aesthetics and the philosophy of language to show that by requiring a suspension of the personal and collective criteria of taste, the cognition of a style is an exercise in individuation.