Dr. James O. Young, FRSC

Dr. James O. Young, FRSC
Office: CLE B324 | Hours: Mon & Thurs 2:30-4:00pm

BA (Simon Fraser), MA (Waterloo), PhD (Boston)

Area of expertise

Philosophy of language, philosophy of art (esp. philosophy of music)

James joined this department in 1985. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

James O. Young, FRSC is Professor of Philosophy. He works on philosophy of art and philosophy of language. His work in philosophy of language focuses on theories of truth and on the debate between realists and anti-realists. In philosophy of art, he is particularly interested in philosophy of music, art as a source of knowledge, and ontological and moral questions raised by reflection on the arts. He also has an emerging interest in the history of aesthetics and the history of eighteenth-century philosophy. Current projects include a translation of Anne Dacier’s Of the Causes of the Corruption of Taste (with Michel-Antoine Xhignesse) and a study of the ethos theory of music (the view that music can have an effect of listeners’ characters). Dr. Young was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2022 David H. Turpin Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research.

Dr Young has a practical as well as a philosophical interest in music. He is an amateur harpsichordist and is Artistic Director Emeritus of the Early Music Society of the Islands .

Dr Young is the author of Global Anti-realism (Avebury, 1995), Art and Knowledge (Routledge, 2001), Cultural Appropriation and the Arts (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), Critique of Pure Music (Oxford, 2014), Filosofía de la Música. Respuestas a Peter Kivy (Calanda, 2017), Radically Rethinking Copyright in the Arts: A Philosophical Perspective (Routledge, 2020) and A History of Western Philosophy of Music (Cambridge, 2023). He has translated, annotated and introduced Charles Batteux’s The Fine Arts Reduced to a Single Principle (Oxford, 2015) and, with Margaret Cameron, Jean-Baptiste Du Bos’ Critical Reflections on Poetry and Painting (Brill, 2021). He edited the four-volume collection Aesthetics: Critical Concepts in Philosophy (Routledge, 2005), Semantics of Aesthetic Judgements (Oxford, 2017) and co-edited The Ethics of Cultural Appropriation (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) with Conrad Brunk. In addition to his books, Dr Young has written over seventy articles in refereed journals and many book chapters.