A few weeks back I was driving around in the states while listening to a discussion on NPR about whether or not food is a form of art. It made me ponder seriously one of the basic questions of aesthetic philosophy, often asked, but rarely answered seriously or comprehensively–what is art? This post details the outcome of a serious think about the topic.
Recently, Aaron Swartz, a talented programmer involved in the creation RSS feeds and Reddit, committed suicide. Apparently this was in response to his being hounded by a federal prosecutor for the crime of violating copyright protections and sharing a large cache of academic articles access to which was controlled by JSTOR, an online academic library club of sorts. In the aftermath of the Swartz suicide, activists are demanding a significant curtailment of copyright law. Is this a reasonable policy? That’s my question for today.