Profile | Donald Keefer





Don Keefer received his Ph.D in Philosophy from Temple University. His dissertation was on the ontology of classical musical works and the essential role that performance practices in constituting the nature and meaning of musical works. He carries its pragmatic spirit through all of his teaching and writing since then. Don’s intense interest in the philosophy of death as well as the role of semiotics in psychology, medicine, and forensic investigation dates to the 1995 murder of his sister by her husband and the subsequent long road to justice.

Don continues to play classical guitar, but limits his public performance to playing for funerals and memorial services.





In Memoria


I am currently working on a book on the aesthetic dimensions of death, especially the loss of others, grief, and the role our institutionalized cultural practices play in response,both historically and today. The current working title is In Memoria.

Central to the book is an investigation of what we mean by the aesthetic dimensions of experience through the works of the CS Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. This is a paper that will be a technical working out of the theory of aesthetics in the book. This paper fits in with current research in the field of everyday aesthetics.


Aestheticians without Borders


“Aestheticians without Borders,” paper presented on Tom Leddy’s book The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: The Aesthetics of Everyday Life. American Society for Aesthetics, National Conference, 2012.


Speaking Well of the Dead: On the Aesthetics of Eulogies

Sophia, Summer 2008



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