Skip to content
The Open University

Derek Matravers


Current work

At the moment, I am working on a monograph on fiction and narrative, which is under contract with Oxford University Press. Some of the ideas that will feature in that book can be found in two published papers. The first is in a collection edited by John Gibson and Noel Carroll called Narrative, Emotion, and Insight. The second paper – ‘Why we should give up on the imagination’ – is published in the most recent MidWest Studies in Philosophy. The copyright belongs to me, so you can download a copy as a PDF file [129 KB]. Another philosopher whose views on the imagination are much less sceptical than mine is Kathleen Stock. Josh Johnston and Nola Semczyszyn (two philosophers from the USA) have produced a childrens’ book based on this debate. You can download the book as a PDF file [1.6 MB].

Work in aesthetics and the philosophy of art:

Art and Emotion (OUP, 1998 and 2002). This is available from Amazon.

Introducing Philosophy of Art: Eight Case Studies, (Acumen, 2013). This is available from Amazon.

I have a number of other papers including this one on conceptual art:

‘The Dematerialisation of the Object' in Goldie and Schellekens (eds.) Philosophy and Conceptual Art, (OUP, 2007). This is available from Amazon.

And this one on the Art Historian, T.J. Clark:

‘Pictures, Knowledge and Power: The Case of T.J. Clark' in Kieran and Lopes (eds.) Knowing Art (Springer, 2007). This is available from Amazon.

A full list of papers, most about expression, is below.

Work in political philosophy:

I have edited editions of the following books:

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, (Wordsworth, 1998). This is available from Amazon.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Confessions, (Wordsworth, 1996). This is available from Amazon.

Tom Paine, The Rights of Man, (Wordsworth, 1997). This is available from Amazon.

Full list of publications

(a) Books

Art and the Emotions: A Defence of the Arousal Theory. Oxford University Press, 1998. Paperback edition, 2001.

Debates in Contemporary Political Philosophy, ed. Derek Matravers and Jon Pike, Routledge, 2002.

Introducing Philosophy of Art: Eight Case Studies. Acumen, 2013.

(b) Articles in Refereed Journals

'Art and the Feelings and Emotions', The British Journal of Aesthetics, 1991.

'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?', Ratio 1991.

'Unsound Sentiment: a Critique of Kivy's "Emotive Formalism"', Philosophical Papers, 1993.

'Once More with Feeling: A Reply to Ridley', The British Journal of Aesthetics, 1994.

'Why Some Modern Art is Junk' in Cogito, 1994.

'Beliefs and the Fictional Narrator', Analysis, 1995.

'Is Boring Art just Boring?', The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1995.

'Aesthetic Concepts and Aesthetic Experience', The British Journal of Aesthetics, 1996.

'Truth in Fiction: A Reply to New', The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1997.

'Revising Principles of Architecture', The Journal of Architecture, 1999.

'Justice and Moral Theory', Skepsis, 1999.

'The Institutional Theory of Art: A Protean Creature', The British Journal of Aesthetics, 2000.

'The Experience of Expression in Music', The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, October 2003.

'The Aesthetic Experience', The British Journal of Aesthetics, 2003.

'Aesthetic Properties', Supplementary Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 2005.

'Two Comments and a Problem for David Davies' Performance Theory', in Acta Analytica, 2006.

'Some Questions about Radical Externalism', in The Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2006.

'Institutional Definitions and Reasons' in The British Journal of Aesthetics, 2007.

'Design as Communication: Exploring the Validity and Utility of Relating Intention to Interpretation’, in Design Studies, 2008, N.Crilly, D.Good, D.C. Matravers and P.J.Clarkson.

‘Recent Philosophical Work on the Connection between Music and the Emotions’, Musical Analysis, 2011.

(c) Chapters in Books

'Matwijkiw and Contemporary Abstract Expression' in Matwijkiw; North, 1987.

Introduction to Rousseau's Confessions; Wordsworth; 1996.

Introduction to Thomas Paine's Rights of Man; Wordsworth, 1996.

Introduction to Rousseau's The Social Contract; Wordsworth, 1997.

'The Paradox of Fiction: the Report vs. the Perceptual Model'; Emotion and the Arts; ed. M. Hjort and S. Laver; Oxford University Press; 1997.

'Rousseau: The Social Contract' and 'Marx and Engels: The German Ideology' in Reading Political Philosophy: Machiavelli to Mill, ed. Derek Matravers, Jon Pike and Nigel Warburton; Routledge, 1998.

'Art and Emotion'; Routledge Companion to Aesthetics; ed. Berys Gaut and Dominic Lopez; Routledge; 2001 (second edition, 2005).

'Ought Painting to Die?'; Dealing with the Visual; eds. Edward Winters and Carolyn von Eck; Ashgate, 2005.

''Fictional Assent and the (so-called) 'Puzzle of Imaginatived Resistance'; Imagination and the Arts; eds. Dominic Lopes and Matthew Kieran; Routledge, 2005.

'The Challenge of Irrationalism and how not to meet it', in Kieran (ed) Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art (Blackwell, 2005).

'Pictures, Knowledge and Power: the case of T.J. Clark', in Lopes (ed) Knowing Art (Springer, 2006).

'Aesthetics in the Twentieth Century', in The Encyclopedia of British Philosophy eds. Anthony Grayling and Stephen Pyle (Continuum, 2006)

'The Dematerialisation of the Object' in Goldie and Schellekens (eds) Philosophy and Conceptual Art (OUP, 2007).

'Richard Wollheim' in Key Contemporary Thinkers, eds. Dairmuid Costello and Jonathan Vickery (Berg, 2007)

'Experience and Expression' in Philosophers on Music: Experience, Meaning, and Work, ed. Kathleen Stock (OUP, 2007).

‘Expression' in The Oxford Handbook to the Emotions, (ed.) Peter Goldie, (OUP, 2009).

‘The Definition of Art’ in Philosophy Bites (eds) David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton (OUP, 2010). The interview can be found here:

‘Why we should give up on the Imagination’ in Mid-West Studies in Philosophy (eds) Peter French and Howard Wettstein (Blackwell, 2010).

‘Imagination, Fiction and Documentary’ in Narrative, Emotion, and Insight (eds) Noel Carroll and John Gibson (GPPC, 2011).

‘Arousal Theories’ in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music (eds) Theodore Gracyk and Andrew Kania (Routledge, 2011).

‘Film, Literature, and Non-Cognitive Affect’ in New Takes in Film Philosophy (eds) Havi Carel and Greg Tuck (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

'Empathy and Knowledge' in Empathy, eds Peter Goldie and Amy Coplan (OUP, 2012).

‘Pictorial Representation and Psychology’, in The Aesthetic Mind, eds Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens (OUP, 2012).

‘Aesthetic Experience’ in The Continuum Companion to Aesthetics (ed) Anna Christina Ribiero (Continuum, 2012).

‘Wonder and Cognition’ in Practices of Wonder: Cross Disciplinary Perspectives (ed) Sophia Vasalou (Pickwick, 2012).

See also Open Research Online for further details of Derek Matravers’s research publications.

« back to Derek Matravers’s page


Introducing Philosophy of Art - cover

Debates in Contemporary Political Philsophy cover

Philosophy & Conceptual Art cover

Knowing Art cover

© The Open University   +44 (0)845 300 60 90   Email us