Professor Aaron  Meskin

Professor Aaron Meskin

Professor of Philosophical Aesthetics

+44 (0)113 34 33284

Summary: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art; Philosophical Psychology; Philosophy of Film; Philosophy of Food; Philosophy of Literature.


Aaron Meskin joined Philosophy at Leeds in 2005. Before his move to Leeds, Dr Meskin taught at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

His current interests include experimental aesthetics, the philosophy of food, and the aesthetic issues raised by comics, graphic novels and improvisational dance.

He is former Treasurer and Officer of the British Society of Aesthetics and a former Trustee of the American Society for Aesthetics. From 2009-2013 he was co-investigator on the AHRC project "Method in philosophical aesthetics: the challenge from the sciences." From 2013-2015 he was PI on the European Commission IIF Grant "Experimental Philosophical Aesthetics and Human Nature." He serves as an area editor for Ergo and as an editorial consultant for the British Journal of Aesthetics. He is also on the editorial boards of Philosophy Compass and Debates in Aesthetics.

Research Interests

  • Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art, including Experimental Aesthetics and Popular Art
  • Philosophical Psychology, especially the Imagination
  • Philosophy of Film
  • Philosophy of Food
  • Philosophy of Literature

Research Supervision

I am happy to offer PhD supervision in any of the above research areas.

Selected Publications

See Aaron's personal page for full publication information.

Journal Articles

  • 'Aesthetic Adjectives: Experimental Semantics and Context-Sensitivity,' (with Shen-yi Liao) Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2015, doi: 10.1111/phpr.12217.
  • 'Taste and Acquaintance,' (with Jon Robson), The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 2015, 73(2): 127-139.
  • 'Comics, Prints, and Multiplicity' (with Roy Cook), The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 2015, 73(1): 57-67. 
  • 'Mere Exposure to Bad Art,' (with Mark Phelan, Margaret Moore and Matthew Kieran), British Journal of Aesthetics 2013, 53(2): 1-25.
  • 'Defining Comics?' The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 65, 2007: pp. 369-379. [A shortened version appears in Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts, ed. David Goldblatt and Lee Brown, third edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2011.]
  • 'An Objective Counterfactual Theory of Information,' (with Jonathan Cohen), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 84 (3), 2006: pp. 333-352.
  • 'Aesthetic Testimony: What Can We Learn From Others About Beauty and Art?' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 69 (1), 2004: pp. 65-91.
  • 'On the Epistemic Value of Photographs,' (with Jonathan Cohen), Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 62 (2), 2004: pp. 197-210.

Edited Volumes

The Routledge Companion to Comics (co-edited with an introduction by Frank Bramlett, Roy T Cook and Aaron Meskin). Routledge, 2016.

Aesthetics and The Sciences of Mind (co-edited with an introduction by Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin and Jon Robson). Oxford University Press, 2014.

Philosophical Aesthetics and the Sciences of Art (co-edited with an introduction by Gregory Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin and Margaret Moore). Cambridge University Press, 2014.

The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach (co-edited with Roy T Cook). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

On the whole, The Art of Comics is an excellent book, and will no doubt be the starting point for interested analytic philosophers for years to come...The book is also a real success at shedding new light on many long-standing problems in aesthetics. On top of its other achievements, Meskin and Cook's anthology establishes beyond any doubt that comics merit philosophical study as much as they do carefree enjoyment. (Brandon Cooke, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

I found this volume to be extremely rewarding (both qua philosopher and qua comic lover), the essays by the two editors and Abell’s paper on genre being particular highlights... considered as a whole, The Art of Comics is an excellent collection and one which is likely to provoke spirited debate and serve as a spur to further research within Anglo-American philosophy (and philosophy more generally) into this sadly neglected art form. I, for one, look forward to these future developments immensely. To quote one of the greats in the history of comics—excelsior! (Jon Robson, British Journal of Aesthetics)

To read an interview with Aaron about this book go to the publisher's website.

PhD Students

Carl Baker, 'The Role of Disagreement in the Debate Over Aesthetic Relativism' (2008-2012; co-supervised with Matthew Kieran)

Istvan Danka, 'Teaching Philosophy Online' (2011-2013; co-supervised with Jason Turner)

Levno Plato, 'The Significance of Aesthetics in Ethics' (2009-2014; co-supervised with Matthew Kieran)

James Rimmer, 'Character, Art, and Aesthetics,' (2013-2018; co-supervised with Matthew Kieran)

Alice Murphy, 'Thought Experiments in Science and Art,' (2016-present; co-supervised with Steven French)

Diane Sofronieva, 'The importance of empathy for the flourishing of individual and society,' (2017-present; co-supervised with Jamie Dow)