While feminist aestheticians have long interrogated gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies in the arts, feminist philosophers still don’t talk much about popular music. Even though Angela Davis and bell hooks have seriously engaged popular music, they are often situated on the margins of philosophy. It is my contention that feminist aesthetics has a lot to offer to the study of popular music, and the case of popular music points feminist aesthetics to some of its own limitations and unasked (...) questions. This essay addresses the paucity of work in feminist philosophy and popular music by (1) applying insights from other areas of feminist aesthetics (the role of gender in the art/craft distinction, concepts of genius and creativity, notions of active spectatorship, etc.) to questions of popular music, and (2) thereby using feminist aesthetics – specifically, Julia Kristea’s notion of female genius and the genius spectator – to critique itself. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that it is a promising avenue of research to consider philosophy of perception to be a guide to aesthetics. More precisely, my claim is that many, maybe even most, traditional problems in aesthetics are in fact about philosophy of perception that can, as a result, be fruitfully addressed with the help of the conceptual apparatus of philosophy of perception. This claim may sound provocative, but after qualifying what I mean by (...)aesthetics (to be contrasted with philosophy of art) and by philosophy of perception, it may be easier to accept. (shrink)
This paper originated as the keynote address at the conference “Aesthetics Today” organized by the Finnish Society of Aesthetics to mark its 40th anniversary and was delivered at the University of Helsinki on March 1, 2012. Written for that particular occasion the sense of an oral presentation has been maintained. Shusterman’s point of departure is the thesis that contemporary aesthetics can be characterized by a number of leading themes that mark a return to older aesthetic perspectives, after (...) these perspectives have been neglected in modern philosophical discussions. The paper briefly outlines and explores three of these themes whose increasing importance in current aesthetics can appeal to historical antecedents, namely: a focus on perception, the expansion of the aesthetic field beyond the philosophy of fine art, and the close connection of the aesthetic and the practical. After that, Shusterman formulates a fourth theme in aesthetics today which incorporates the first three and whose value for contemporary aesthetics he seeks to highlight, namely: the somatic, as exemplified by somaesthetics. (shrink)
René Girard’s mimetic theory has significantly influenced the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies, as well as sociological anthropology and philosophy. Nevertheless, I argue that a somewhat different line of interpretation, an interdisciplinary one, has not been sufficiently investigated. This involves an interpretation which focuses on the vicissitudes of the mimetic and “victimage” circle not (or not only) in sociological terms, but by analysing their articulation on the level of knowledge. The sociological and epistemological perspectives do not exclude each (...) other, but can be integrated. The main aim of this paper is to clarify this articulation, and to show that integration between these two perspectives is possible only by bringing into play a real ‘literary aesthetics’. The notion of literary aesthetics needs to be considered in both the common and the etymological sense, as a theory of feeling and of experiencing. In doing so, I firstly cover in brief the main stages of Girard’s thought in the light of this perspective, to then focus on the relationship between literary aesthetics and knowledge. Finally I argue that this picture, if seriously considered, could lead to a mystical outcome, and will discuss the possible alternatives to that outcome. (shrink)
Can indistinguishable objects differ aesthetically? Manifestationism answers ‘no’ on the grounds that (i) aesthetically significant features of an object must show up in our experience of it; and (ii) a feature—aesthetic or not—figures in our experience only if we can discriminate its presence. Goodman’s response to Manifestationism has been much discussed, but little understood. I explain and reject it. I then explore an alternative. Doubles can differ aesthetically provided, first, it is possible to experience them differently; and, second, those experiences (...) reflect differences in the objects’ themselves. A range of objections to this position is considered, but all are found wanting. (shrink)
Aesthetics and the Environment presents fresh and fascinating insights into our interpretation of the environment. Traditional aesthetics is often associated with the appreciation of art, but Allen Carlson shows how much of our aesthetic experience does not encompass art but nature--in our response to sunsets, mountains or horizons or more mundane surroundings, like gardens or the view from our window. Carlson argues that knowledge of what it is we are appreciating is essential to having an appropriate aesthetic experience (...) and that a scientific understanding of nature can enhance our appreciation of it, rather than denigrate it. (shrink)
The aesthetics of nature has over the last few decades become an intense focus of philosophical reflection, as it has been ever more widely recognised that it is not a mere appendage to the aesthetics of art. Everyone delights in the beauty of flowers, and some are thrilled by the immensity of mountains or of the night sky. But what is involved in serious aesthetic appreciation of the natural world? Malcolm Budd presents four interlinked studies in the (...) class='Hi'>aesthetics of nature, approaching the subject from a variety of angles. As well as developing Budd's own original ideas, the book provides a comprehensive treatment of Kant's classic aesthetics of nature, and an encyclopaedic critical survey of recent literature on the subject. (shrink)
This new, completely revised and re-written edition of Aesthetics and subjectivity brings up to date the original book's account of the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Fichte and Holderlin, the early Romantis, Schelling, Hegel, Schleimacher, to Nietzsche, in view of recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities.
Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today. Brings together fresh debates on eleven of the most controversial issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of art Topics addressed include the nature of beauty, aesthetic experience, artistic value, and the nature of our emotional responses to art. Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and (...) especially commissioned for the volume. Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in aesthetics, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. (shrink)
A complete collection of Frank Sibley's articles on philosophical aesthetics, this volume includes five, remarkable, hitherto unpublished papers written in Sibley's later years. It addresses many topics, among them the nature of aesthetic qualities versus non-aesthetic qualities, the relation of aesthetic description to aesthetic evaluation, the different levels of evaluation, and the objectivity of aesthetic judgement. The later papers constitute both a significant development of Sibley's individual approach to aesthetics, such as his discussion of the distinction between attributive (...) and predicative uses of adjectives and of the aesthetic significance of tastes and smells, a topic Sibley considered to be much neglected. (shrink)
Contemplating Art is a compendium of writings from the last ten years by one of the leading figures in aesthetics, Jerrold Levinson. The twenty-four essays range over issues in general aesthetics and those relating to specific arts--in particular music, film, and literature. It will appeal not only to philosophers but also to musicologists, literary theorists, art critics, and reflective lovers of the arts.
Neglect of everyday aesthetics -- Significance of everyday aesthetics -- Aesthetics of distinctive characteristics and ambience -- Everyday aesthetic qualities and transience -- Moral-aesthetic judgments of artifacts.
I: Environmental aesthetics -- A phenomenological aesthetics of environment -- Aesthetic dimensions of environmental design -- Down the garden path -- The wilderness city : a study of metaphorical experience -- Aesthetics of the coastal environment -- The world from the water -- Is there life in virtual space? -- Is greasy lake a place? -- Embodied music -- II: Social aesthetics -- The idea of a cultural aesthetic -- The social evaluation of art -- Subsidization (...) of art as social policy -- Morality and the artist : toward an ethics of art -- Getting along beautifully : ideas for a social aesthetics. (shrink)
In his Critical Aesthetics and Postmodernism, Paul Crowther argued that art and aesthetic experiences have the capacity to humanize. In Art and Embodiment he develops this theme in much greater depth, arguing that art can bridge the gap between philosophy's traditional striving for generality and completeness, and the concreteness and contingency of humanity's basic relation to the world. As the key element in his theory, he proposes an ecological definition of art. His strategy involves first mapping out and analyzing (...) the logical boundaries and ontological structures of the aesthetic domain. He then considers key concepts from this analysis in the light of a tradition in Continental philosophy (notably the work of Kant, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Hegel) which--by virtue of the philosophical significance that it assigns to art--significantly anticipates the ecological conception. On this basis, Crowther is able to give a full formulation of his ecological definition. Art, in making sensible or imaginative material into symbolic form, harmonizes and conserves what is unique and what is general in human experience. The aesthetic domain answers basic needs intrinsic to self-consciousness itself, and art is the highest realization of such needs. In the creation and reception of art the embodied subject is fully at home with his or her environment. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the preeminent Kant scholars of our time transforms our understanding of both Kant's aesthetics and his ethics. Guyer shows that at the very core of Kant's aesthetic theory, disinterestedness of taste becomes an experience of freedom and thus an essential accompaniment to morality itself. At the same time he reveals how Kant's moral theory includes a distinctive place for the cultivation of both general moral sentiments and particular attachments on the basis of (...) the most rigorous principle of duty. Kant's thought is placed in a rich historical context including such figures as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Burke, Kames, as well as Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, Schiller, and Hegel. Other topics treated are the sublime, natural versus artistic beauty, genius and art history, and duty and inclination. These essays (half being published for the first time) extend and enrich the account of Kant's aesthetics in the author's earlier book, Kant and the Claims of Taste (1979). (shrink)
This major collection of essays stands at the border of aesthetics and ethics and deals with charged issues of practical import: art and morality, the ethics of taste, and censorship. As such its potential interest is by no means confined to professional philosophers; it should also appeal to art historians and critics, literary theorists, and students of film. Prominent philosophers in both aesthetics and ethics tackle a wide array of issues. Some of the questions explored in the volume (...) include: Can art be morally enlightening and, if so, how? If a work of art is morally better does that make it better as art? Is morally deficient art to be shunned, or even censored? Do subjects of artworks have rights as to how they are represented? Do artists have duties as artists and duties as human beings, and if so, to whom? How much tension is there between the demands of art and the demands of life? (shrink)
The development and nature of environmental aesthetics -- Aesthetic appreciation and the natural environment -- The requirements for an adequate aesthetics of nature -- Aesthetic appreciation and the human environment -- Appreciation of the human environment under different conceptions -- Aesthetic appreciation and the agricultural landscape -- What is the correct way to aesthetically appreciate landscapes?
This volume explores the relationship between Kant's aesthetic theory and his critical epistemology as articulated in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of the Power of Judgment. The essays, written specially for this volume, revise our understanding of core elements of Kant's epistemology, such as his notions of discursive understanding, experience, and objective judgment. They also demonstrate a rich grasp of Kant's critical epistemology that enables a deeper understanding of his aesthetics. Collectively, the essays reveal that Kant's (...) critical project, and the dialectics of aesthetics and cognition within it, is still relevant to contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and the nature of experience and objectivity. The book also yields important lessons about the ineliminable, yet problematic place of imagination, sensibility and aesthetic experience in perception and cognition. (shrink)
Leading young scholars present a collection of wide-ranging essays covering central problems in meta-aesthetics and aesthetic issues in the philosophy of mind, as well as offering analyses of key aesthetic concepts, new perspectives on the history of aesthetics, and specialized treatment of individual art forms.
Emotion in Aesthetics is the first book on aesthetics to provide an extensive theory of emotion; application of the cognitive-emotive theory to aesthetics; analysis of the relationship between aesthetics, metaphor and emotion; a full theory of meaning and its application to aesthetics; discussion of the relationship between aesthetics, music and language in terms of phonetics, phonology and intonation; an analysis of humanistic aesthetics; a well-developed naturalistic theory of ethics as applied to aesthetics (...) and emotion. Stress is placed on the views of contemporary philosophers as well as some of the main historical accounts of emotion in aesthetics. The important recent work on emotion has not hitherto been applied to aesthetics. As a result there is still much confusion in aesthetics about aesthetic emotion and related concepts, such as the expression theory of emotion. The present book has been written to show how the theory can be used to clarify the issue, resulting in a major breakthrough in aesthetics. In addition, the theory presented is valuable in relating aesthetics to ethics and humanism. (shrink)
Although philosophers have characteristically taken the view that art is a vehicle of some universal meaning or truth, art historians emphasize the concrete, historical location of the individual work of art. Is aesthetics capable of sustaining these two approaches? Or, as Michael Kelly argues: Is art actually determined by its historical particularity? His book covers the views of four philosophers--Heidegger, Adorno, Derrida, and Danto--ultimately iconoclasts, despite their significant philosophical engagement with the arts.
Nietzsche, Aesthetics and Modernity analyzes Nietzsche's response to the aesthetic tradition, tracing in particular the complex relationship between the work and thought of Nietzsche, Kant, and Hegel. Focusing in particular on the critical role of negation and sublimity in Nietzsche's account of art, it explores his confrontation with modernity and his attempt to posit a revitalized artistic practice as the counter-movement to modern nihilism. Drawing on the full range of his published and unpublished writings, together with his comments on (...) figures as diverse as Wagner, Zola, Delacroix, and Laurence Sterne, it highlights the extent to which Nietzsche counters the culture of his own time with a dialectical notion of aesthetic interpretation and practice. As such, Nietzsche the dialectician articulates a position that proves to be intimately connected to the negative dialects of Theodor Adorno. (shrink)
This book proposes that aesthetics begin not with concepts of being or semblance, but with a concept of appearing. Appearing bespeaks of the reality that all aesthetic objects share, however different they may otherwise be. For Martin Seel, appearing plays its part everywhere in the aesthetic realm, in all aesthetic activity. In his book, Seel examines the existential and cultural meaning of aesthetic experience. In doing so, he brings aesthetics and philosophy of art together again, which in continental (...) as well as analytical thinking have been more and more separated in the recent decades. Within Seel’s framework, to apprehend things and events with respect to how they appear momentarily and simultaneously to our senses represents a genuine way for human beings to encounter the world. The consciousness that emerges here is an anthropologically central faculty. In perceiving the unfathomable particularity of a sensuously given we gain insight into the indeterminable of our lives. Attentiveness to what is appearing is therefore at the same time attentiveness to ourselves. This is also the case when works of art imagine past or future, probable or improbable presences. Artworks develop their transgressive energy from their presence as sense-catching forms. They bring about a special presence in which a presentation of close or distant presences comes about. (shrink)
These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy. -/- What is art? Must art be beautiful? Must art be politically or culturally significant? How does art differ from other products of human activity? Joseph Margolis has spent decades thinking through these and related questions. In this book, he introduces his reader to the field of Aesthetics by thinking through the most fundamental philosophical questions (...) about art in a way that is engaging and accessible. This book could be used alongside a textbook of classic readings in Aesthetics, or as a stand-alone text in Aesthetics. THE WADSWORTH PHILOSOPHICAL TOPICS SERIES presents readers with concise, timely, and insightful introductions to a variety of traditional and contemporary philosophical subjects. With this series, students of philosophy will be able to discover the richness of philosophical inquiry across a wide array of concepts, including hallmark philosophical themes and themes typically underrepresented in mainstream philosophy publishing. Written by a distinguished list of scholars who have garnered particular recognition for their excellence in teaching, this series presents the vast sweep of today's philosophical exploration in highly accessible and affordable volumes. These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy. (shrink)
Translator's introduction -- Preface -- Part I: The aesthetics of politics -- Ten theses on politics -- Does democracy mean something? -- Who is the subject of the rights of man? -- Communism : from actuality to inactuality -- The people or the multitudes -- Bio-politics or politics -- September 11 and afterwards : a rupture in the symbolic order -- Of war as the supreme form of advanced plutocratic consensus -- Part II: The politics of aesthetics -- (...) The aesthetic revolution and its outcomes -- The paradoxes of political art -- The politics of literature -- The monument and its confidences or Deleuze and Art's capacity for resistance -- The ethical turn of aesthetics and politics -- Part III: Response to critics -- The usage of distinctions. (shrink)
Most books on aesthetics tend to be either too theoretical for the arts or not theoretical enough for philosophy. This book strikes a new and better balance between these competing interests. By taking a normative question--why should we value the arts?--it manages to develop a genuinely philosophical understanding of art and its value while never losing sight of the poems, pictures and music which draw and sustain interest in the arts. In this new second edition, chapters have been revised (...) to include new material and also an added chapter about the subjectivity of aesthetic judgement, the importance of the artist's intention and the possibility of an aesthetic appreciation of nature. The book concludes with a critical survey of art theories and introduces some complex issues surrounding disputes between Marxism, structuralism and postmodernism. (shrink)
Wolfgang Welsch examines global aestheticization phenomena, probes the relationship of aesthetics and ethics, and considers the broad relevance of aesthetics for contemporary thinking. He argues that modes of thought familiar from the aesthetic realm comprise fundamental paradigms for understanding todayÆs reality. The implications for specific and everyday issues are demonstrated in studies of architecture, advertising, the Internet, and our perception of the life world. Surgically precise, innovative, and, above all, relevant, this book is an essential resource, providing the (...) analysis of contemporary culture with philosophical bite. Aesthetics is to transcend itself, address the whole realm of aethesis, and hence enable orientation in the contemporary condition. Undoing aesthetics means releasing it from old cultural binds and giving it new ties with the future. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics brings the authority, liveliness, and multi-disciplinary scope of the Handbook series to a fascinating theme in philosophy and the arts. Jerrold Levinson has assembled a hugely impressive range of talent to contribute 48 brand-new essays, making this the most comprehensive guide available to the theory, application, history, and future of the field. This Handbook will be invaluable to academics and students across philosophy and all branches of the arts, both as the reference work of (...) choice and as a stimulus to new research and creativity. (shrink)
Over the course of the past forty years, Ge;rard Genette’s work has profoundly influenced scholars of narratology, poetics, aesthetics, and literary and cultural criticism, and he continues to be one of France’s most influential theorists. The eighteen pieces in Essays in Aesthetics are of international interest because they are concerned either with universal aesthetic problems (the receiver’s relationship to an aesthetic object, abstract art, the role of repetition in aesthetics, genre theory, and the rapport between literature and (...) music) or with specific moments in the work of a well-known writer or artist (such as Stendhal, Proust, Manet, Pissarro, and Canaletto). Essays in Aesthetics contains a wealth of material related to the appreciation of beauty by one of the subtlest and most original minds working in aesthetics today. Genette knows the fine arts as well as he knows literature and as a result has innovative things to say to readers in that field as well as to philosophers and literary scholars. (shrink)
As overdevelopment, noise pollution, and land use become considerations in modern life, we become more thoughtful of the quality of our environments, whether the space is for recreation, education, or residential living. Demonstrating how such tenets as "to each his own" have contributed to the demise of our public spaces, Environmental Aesthetics is the first integrated study of this emerging field. Beginning with a brief history of aesthetics, the author explores the concept of landscape, the psychology of human-environment (...) relations, the influences of literary, artistic and legal activism, and the roles of public policy and of planning. Clearly written and lavishly illustrated, the book will prove invaluable to anyone interested in how the physical environment can and should be improved. (shrink)
This volume brings together new essays from distinguished scholars in a variety of disciplines - philosophy, history, literary studies, art history - to explore various ways in which aesthetics, politics and the arts interact with one another. Politics is an elastic concept, covering an oceanic breadth of mechanisms for conducting relations between empowered groups, and these essays offer a range of perspectives, including nations, classes, and gendered subjects, which examine the imbrication of politics with arts. Together they demonstrate the (...) need to counteract the reductionist view of the relationship between politics and the arts which prevails in different ways in both philosophy and critical theory, and suggest that the irreducibility of the aesthetic must prompt us to reconceive the political as it relates to human cultural activity. (shrink)
This volume brings together major works by German thinkers, writing just prior to and after Kant, who were enormously influential in this crucial period of aesthetics. These texts include the first translation into English of Schiller's Kallias Letters and Moritz's On the Artistic Imitation of the Beautiful, together with new translations of some of Hölderlin's most important theoretical writings and works by Hamann, Lessing, Novalis and Schlegel. In a philosophical introduction J. M. Bernstein traces the development of aesthetics (...) from its still rationalist and mimetic construction in Lessing, through the optimistic construal of art and/or beauty as the appearance of human freedom in the work of Schiller, to Hölderlin's darker vision of art as the memory of a lost unity, and the variations of that theme - of an impossible striving after the lost ideal - which are found in the work of Schlegel and Novalis. (shrink)
Now reissued with substantial new material, The Seventh Sense is the definitive study of the aesthetic theory of the great eighteenth-century philosopher Frances Hutcheson, and its huge influence on British aesthetics. Peter Kivy's book is a seminal work on early modern aesthetics, and has been much in demand since going out of print some years ago; this new edition brings the book up to date with the addition of eight essays that Kivy has written on the subject since (...) 1976. (shrink)
Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics is an innovative attempt to reconceive the key concepts of religious studies through a reading with, and against, Walter Benjamin. Brent Plate deftly sifts through Benjamin's voluminous writings showing how his concepts of art, allegory, and experience undo traditional religious concepts such as myth, symbol, memory, narrative, creation, and redemption. Recasting religion as religious practice, as process and movement, Plate locates a Benjaminian materialist aesthetics, what the author calls an "allegorical aesthetics," in (...) order to uncover sources and establish a new locus for the study of religion. Placing the concept of an allegorical aesthetics into practice, Plate offers examinations of aesthetic productions such as Daniel Libeskind's architecture and Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades alongside religious developments such as the Hindu Bhakti movement and Jewish Kabbalistic thought. Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics will be necessary reading for those interested in religion and the arts, aesthetics, and material culture. (shrink)
Leni Riefenstahl meets Charlie Chaplin : aesthetics of the Third Reich -- Artphilosophical themes -- Dead Kennedys and Black Flags : artpolitics of punk -- Prehistory of political aesthetics -- Red, gold, black, and green : black nationalist aesthetics -- Arthistorical themes -- Political power and transcendental geometry : Republican classicism in early America.
Analytical Psychology and German Classical Aesthetics: Goethe, Schiller, and Jung , volume 1, The Development of the Personality investigates the extent to which analytical psychology draws on concepts found in German classical aesthetics. It aims to place analytical psychology in the German-speaking tradition of Goethe and Schiller, with which Jung was well acquainted. This volume argues that analytical psychology appropriates many of its central notions from German classical aesthetics, and that, when seen in its intellectual historical context, (...) the true originality of analytical psychology lies in its reformulation of key tenets of German classicism. Although the importance for Jung of German thought in general, and of Goethe and Schiller in particular, has frequently been acknowledged, until now it has never been examined in any detailed or systematic way. Through an analysis of Jung’s reception of Goethe and Schiller, Analytical Psychology and German Classical Aesthetics demonstrates the intellectual continuity within analytical psychology and the filiation of ideas from German classical aesthetics to Jungian thought. In this way it suggests that a rereading of analytical psychology in the light of German classical aesthetics offers an intellectually coherent understanding of analytical psychology. By uncovering the philosophical sources of analytical psychology, this first volume returns Jung’s thought to its core intellectual tradition, in the light of which analytical psychology gains new critical impact and fresh relevance for modern thought. Written in a scholarly yet accessible style, this book will interest students and scholars alike in the areas of analytical psychology, comparative literature, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
While considered by many as one of the greatest philosophers of religion and metaphysicians of the 20th century, Charles Hartshorne’s (1897-2000) contributions to the study of aesthetics are perhaps the most neglected aspect of his extensive and highly nuanced thought. DIVINE BEAUTY offers the first detailed explication of Hartshorne’s aesthetic theory and its place within his theocentric philosophy.
Introduction -- The symbolic form of art -- Kant's theory of the mathematical sublime and the boundlessness of the symbolic form of art -- The classical sublimity of Judaism -- The classical form of art -- The original epic -- The ideal -- The transition to the revealed religion and the romantic form of art -- The revealed religion -- Representational thought and the romantic form of art -- Traces of left-hegelianism in Hegel's lectures on aesthetics -- The end (...) of mythology -- The significance of Kierkegaard's interpretation of Don Giovanni in relation to Hegel's theory of the end of art -- The end of art -- The opera as a modern art form -- Hegel and Lukács's on the possibility of a modern epic -- The problem of a modern epic -- The modern epic and history -- Civil society as the background to the modern epic -- Myth and society : a common theme in the thought of Hegel and Sorel -- Sorel's myth of the general strike -- Myth and modern ethical life. (shrink)
Introduction -- The problem of free harmony -- The doctrine of aesthetic ideas -- Natural and artistic beauty -- Free harmony and aesthetic pleasure -- The extensiveness of the criterion of beauty -- Beauty, free harmony, and moral duty -- Appendix: The meaning of universal validity in Kant's aesthetics -- Postscript: The argument for universal validity.
The Continental Aesthetics Reader is the first comprehensive anthology of classic writings on art and aesthetics from the major figures in Continental thought. The Reader is divided into six sections, each clearly placed in its historical and philosophical context: Nineteenth Century German Aesthetics, Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, Marxism and Critical Theory, Poststructuralism and Postmodernism, and Psychoanalysis and Feminism. The collection features the most widely read and representative writings of each movement by 34 major thinkers: Kant * Sartre * (...) Benjamin * Lyotard * Hegel * Levinas * Blanchot * Deleuze * Nietzsche * Marx * Bloch * Freud * Heidegger * Lukacs * Bataille * Lacan * Dufrenne * Adorno * Foucault * Kristeva * Bachelard * Marcuse * Barthes * Irigaray * Merleau-Ponty * Habermas * Derrida * Cixous * Gadamer * Jameson * de Man * Vattimo * Simmel * Baudrillard Bringing together some of the most influential writings on aesthetics, continental philosophy, art and visual studies, The Continental Aesthetics Reader provides a thorough and much-needed introduction to the field. (shrink)
Serial music was one of the most important aesthetic movements to emerge in post-war Europe, but its uncompromising music and modernist aesthetic has often been misunderstood. This book focuses on the controversial journal die Reihe, whose major contributors included Stockhausen, Eimert, Pousseur, Dieter Schnebel and G. M. Koenig, and discusses it in connection with many lesser-known sources in German musicology. It traces serialism's debt to the theories of Klee and Mondrian, and its relationship to developments in concrete art, modern poetry (...) and the information aesthetics and semiotics of Max Bense and Umberto Eco. M. J. Grant sketches an aesthetic theory of serialism as experimental music, arguing that serial theory's embrace of both rigorous intellectualism and aleatoric processes is not, as many have suggested, a paradox, but the key to serial thought and to its relevance for contemporary theory. (shrink)
Values of Beauty discusses major ideas and figures in the history of aesthetics from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. The core of the book features Paul Guyer's most recent essays on the epochal contribution of Immauel Kant, and sets Kant's work in the context of predecessors, contemporaries, and successors including David Hume, Alexander Gerard, Archibald Alison, Arthur Schopenhauer, and John Stuart Mill All of the essays emphasize the complexity rather than isolation (...) of our aesthetic experience of both nature and art; and the interconnection of aesthetic values such as beauty and sublimity on the one hand, and prudential and moral values on the other. Guyer emphasizes that the idea of the freedom of the imagination as the key to both artistic creation and aesthetic experience has been a common thread throughout the modern history of aesthetics, although the freedom of the imagination has been understood and connected to other forms of freedom in a variety of ways. (shrink)
This book offers the first full-length study of philosophical dialogue during the English Enlightenment. It explains why important philosophers - Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Berkeley and Hume - and innumerable minor translators, imitators and critics wrote in and about dialogue during the eighteenth century; and why, after Hume, philosophical dialogue either falls out of use or undergoes radical transformation. Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment describes the extended, heavily coded, and often belligerent debate about the nature and proper management of dialogue; and (...) it shows how the writing of philosophical fictions relates to the rise of the novel and the emergence of philosophical aesthetics. Novelists such as Fielding, Sterne, Johnson and Austen are placed in a philosophical context, and philosophers of the empiricist tradition in the context of English literary history. (shrink)
Everyday aesthetic experiences and concerns occupy a large part of our aesthetic life. However, because of their prevalence and mundane nature, we tend not to pay much attention to them, let alone examine their significance. Western aesthetic theories of the past few centuries also neglect everyday aesthetics because of their almost exclusive emphasis on art. In a ground-breaking new study, Yuriko Saito provides a detailed investigation into our everyday aesthetic experiences, and reveals how our everyday aesthetic tastes and judgments (...) can exert a powerful influence on the state of the world and our quality of life. By analysing a wide range of examples from our aesthetic interactions with nature, the environment, everyday objects, and Japanese culture, Saito illustrates the complex nature of seemingly simple and innocuous aesthetic responses. She discusses the inadequacy of art-centered aesthetics, the aesthetic appreciation of the distinctive characters of objects or phenomena, responses to various manifestations of transience, and the aesthetic expression of moral values; and she examines the moral, political, existential, and environmental implications of these and other issues. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics is an indispensable guide and reference source to the major thinkers and topics in aesthetics. Forty-six new entries by a team of renowned international contributors provide clear and up-to-date entries under four headings: historical, from Plato to Derrida; aesthetic theory, from definitions of art to pictorial representation; issues and challenges, from criticism to feminist aesthetics; and the individual arts, from literature to theatre.
This book is a major new study of the doctrines of productivity and interest in Romanticism and classical political economy. The author argues that the widespread contemporary embrace of cultural historicism and the rejection of nineteenth-century conceptions of agency have hindered our study of aesthetics and politics. Focusing on the difficulty of coordinating paradigms of intellectual and material labor, Mieszkowski shows that the relationship between the imagination and practical reason is crucial to debates about language and ideology.From the Romantics (...) to Poe and Kafka, writers who explore Kant's claim that poetry "sets the imagination free" discover that the representational and performative powers of language cannot be explained as the products of a self-governing dynamic, whether formal or material. A discourse that neither reflects nor prescribes the values of its society, literature proves to be a uniquely autonomous praxis because it undermines our reliance on the concept of interest as the foundation of self-expression or self-determination. Far from compromising its political significance, this turns literature into the condition of possibility of freedom. For Smith, Bentham, and Marx, the limits of self-rule as a model of agency prompt a similar rethinking of the relationship between language and politics. Their conception of a linguistic labor that informs material praxis is incompatible with the liberal ideal of individualism. In the final analysis, their work invites us to think about social conflicts not as clashes between competing interests, but as a struggle to distinguish human from linguistic imperatives. (shrink)
The photographer and reformer Jacob Riis once wrote, “I have seen an armful of daisies keep the peace of a block better than a policeman and his club.” Riis was not alone in his belief that beauty could tame urban chaos, but are aesthetic experiences always a social good? Could aesthetics also inspire violent crime, working-class unrest, and racial murder? To answer these questions, Russ Castronovo turns to those who debated claims that art could democratize culture—civic reformers, anarchists, novelists, (...) civil rights activists, and college professors—to reveal that beauty provides unexpected occasions for radical, even revolutionary, political thinking. B eautiful Democracy explores the intersection of beauty and violence by examining university lectures and course materials on aesthetics from a century ago along with riots, acts of domestic terrorism, magic lantern exhibitions, and other public spectacles. Philosophical aesthetics, realist novels, urban photography, and black periodicals, Castronovo argues, inspired and instigated all sorts of collective social endeavors, from the progressive nature of tenement reform to the horrors of lynching. Discussing Jane Addams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charlie Chaplin, William Dean Howells, and Riis as aesthetic theorists in the company of Kant and Schiller, Beautiful Democracy ultimately suggests that the distance separating academic thinking and popular wisdom about social transformation is narrower than we generally suppose. (shrink)
Aesthetics in a Multicultural Age examines a variety of significant multidisciplinary and multicultural topics within the subject of aesthetics. Addressing the vexed relation of the arts and criticism to current political and cultural concerns, the contributors to this volume attempt to bridge the two decades-old gap between scholars and critics who hold conflicting views of the purposes of art and criticism. By exploring some of the ways in which global migration and expanding ethnic diversity are affecting cultural productions (...) and prompting reassessment of the nature and role of aesthetic discourse, this volume provides a new evaluation of aesthetic ideas and practices within contemporary arts and letters. (shrink)
Is it body or spirit that makes us appreciate beauty and create art? The distinguished Canadian critic Ekbert Faas argues that, with occasional exceptions like Montaigne and Mandeville, the mainstream of western thinking about beauty from Plato onwards has overemphasised the spirit, or even execrated the body and sexuality as inimical to the aesthetic disposition. The Genealogy of Aesthetics redresses this imbalance via a radical re-reading of seminal thinkers like Plato, Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger and Derrida. Professor Faas (...) attacks both the traditional and postmodern consensus, and offers a new pro-sensualist aesthetics, heavily influenced by Nietzsche, that draws on contemporary neo-Darwinian cognitive science. A work of both polemic and considerable learning, The Genealogy of Aesthetics marks a radical new departure in thinking about art, of interest to all serious students of the humanities and cognitive sciences, which no future work in this field can afford to ignore. (shrink)
Organizational aesthetics, both as a body of theory and a method of inquiry, is a rapidly expanding area of the organizational sciences. The Aesthetics of Organization accessibly draws key contributions delineating the emerging parameters of the field. It explains the significance of concepts devised by postmodern thinkers, through which emerge meaning and order in organizations. Methodological problems associated with investigations of the aesthetic are also highlighted so the reader can identify and understand the importance of recent ideas on (...) vision, perspective and periphery for learning in organizations. Through the contributions of leading international theorists, organizational aesthetics is defined in greater historical and theoretical depth, with a broad conceptual and practical range which academics will find invaluable. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that Jacques Rancière does not propose a purely sensible conception of the aesthetic in his recent writings on art. Unlike many contemporary philosophies of art, Rancière’s aesthetics retains an important cognitive dimension. Here, I bring this aspect of Rancière’s aesthetics into view by comparing the conception of intelligence found in his earlier works with his more recent writings on art, showing that intelligence and sense are distributed in the same ways. The distinction between (...) them is, moreover, governed by the same politics. Rancière’s analysis of the sensible and the intellectual breaks down the distinction between them and establishes their equality. (shrink)
Introduction -- The historical foundations of Russian and Japanese philosophies -- Space in NOH : plays and icons -- Models of cultural space derived from Nishida Kitar and Semën L. Frank (Basho and Sobornost) -- Space and aesthetics : a dialogue between Nishida Kitar and Mikhail Bakhtin -- From community to time, space, development : Trubetzkoy, Nishida, Watsuji -- Conclusion -- Postface: Resistance and slave nations.
This essay reviews one of the most recent books in a trend of new publications proffering evolutionary theorising about aesthetics and the arts—themes within an increasing literature on aspects of human life and human nature in terms of evolutionary theory. Stephen Davies’ The Artful Species links some of our aesthetic sensibilities with our evolved human nature and critically surveys the interdisciplinary debate regarding the evolutionary status of the arts. Davies’ engaging and accessible writing succeeds in demonstrating the maturity and (...) scope of the field and his critique is timely and unparalleled. A laudable effort, however it may have benefited from espousing a co-evolutionary model more explicitly. Moreover there may be reason to question the usefulness of the standard set of distinctions (‘adaptation’, ‘spandrel’, ‘technology’) that Davies appeals to. (shrink)
This text probes the psychic and social roots of artistic scenarios of loss. Demonstrating that artistic activity is inextricably bonded to imaginary scripts of bereavement and these in turn to patterns of social dominance, the author argues in favor of an "aesthetics of lessness" that is, postmodern resistance to imaginary inscriptions of grief and their misogynist sequels. The book draws on psychoaesthetics, discourse theory and feminist social critiques to analyse literary visual figurations of loss. Included in its analysis of (...) the romantic and post-romantic imaginary are readings of Merimee, Nerval, Hoffmann, H.D., Anne Hebert, Proust and Beckett, and essays, among others, on Kollwitz, Glacometti, Bellmer, Klee, Gidal and Oulton. (shrink)
From the 1970s to the early-1990s, the discourse surrounding aesthetics largely disappeared from the study of art history, theory and cultural studies. Claims for the aesthetic value of art-works were thought of as elitist and politically regressive. The 1990s witnessed a return to aesthetics, but one that stressed the independent claims of beauty, in reaction to its perceived suppression by ethical and political imperatives. However, beauty is just one aspect of the aesthetic. In recent years, increasing attention has (...) been given to the ways in which aesthetics and ethics are intertwined. In a series of paired essays and responses, a group of the English-speaking world's most distinguished thinkers consider this 'new' aesthetics, demonstrating its cross-disciplinary relevance in terms accessible to a non-specialist readership. (shrink)
This paper takes distances from two influential images of Wittgenstein's philosophy: the image of a primarily ethical philosopher defended by the so-called «resolute» interpreters and that of an ascetically "analytical" philosopher transmitted by the standard interpretation. Instead of contrasting images (that of Wittgenstein as an "aesthetic" philosopher and that of the "ethical" Wittgenstein), this paper focuses on the analysis of the fractures and tensions characterizing not only the relationship between Wittgenstein's philosophy and aesthetics, but also the very style of (...) Wittgenstein's thought. Addressing a specific issue from a conceptual and textual standpoint (the unity of Ethics and Aesthetics in the Tractatus) seems to the author to be a fruitful strategy that allows us not only to understand whether and how determinant and central the aesthetic problem is for Wittgenstein, but also to see how aesthetics itself can be radically reshaped through the filter offered by his thought. In the first place, then, it is clarified what the Tractatus claim that ethics and aesthetics «sind eins» might entail. Secondly, it is checked if and how the conceptual consistency of the «being one» of ethics and aesthetics is transformed during the 1930s, to the point that it requires a different configuration: the metamor¬phosis of the logical unity between the two conceptual fields into an analogical affinity. Analyzing this conceptual metamorphosis the paper considers also the idea of an asymmetry of the aesthetic over the ethical as already evident, despite appearances, in the 1929 Lecture on Ethics. This asymmetry is then developed focusing the image of grammatical mechanism with its degrees of freedom of which Wittgensteins writes from 1930. In connection with this image the author outlines finally the idea of an aesthetic mechanism arising from primitive reactions and strictly related with the genesis of language games. (shrink)
This introduction to aesthetics provides a layered treatment of both the historical background and contemporary debates in aesthetics. Extensive cross-referencing shows how issues in aesthetics intersect with other branches of philosophy and other fields that study the arts. Aesthetics A-Z is an ideal guide for newcomers to the field of aesthetics and a useful reference for more advanced students of philosophy, art history, media studies and the performing arts.
This collection of essays explores the rise of aesthetics as a response to, and as a part of, the reshaping of the arts in modern society. The theories of art developed under the name of 'aesthetics' in the eighteenth century have traditionally been understood as contributions to a field of study in existence since the time of Plato. If art is a practice to be found in all human societies, then the philosophy of art is the search for (...) universal features of that practice, which can be stated in definitions of art and beauty. However, art as we know it - the system of 'fine arts' - is largely peculiar to modern society. Aesthetics, far from being a perennial discipline, emerged in an effort both to understand and to shape this new social practice. These essays share the conviction that aesthetic ideas can be fully understood when seen not only in relation to intellectual and social contexts, but as themselves constructed in history. (shrink)
In order to investigate the possibility to develop Wittgenstein's suggestions about aesthetics, this paper will focus on the organic perspective elaborated by Richard Wollheim in «Art and Its Objects». In this regard we will try to emphasize how the concept of art as a "form of live" - explicit in Wollheim - involves the analysis of the practices embodied in the experience of art starting from those of representation. The inception modes of such practices of representation need to be (...) described in the use of specific anthropological abilities related to perception patterns that go beyond the mere statement of facts, in a fusion among aesthetic, cognitive and emotional levels. Deepening the relationships both between lived experience and expression, and expression and understanding, we will try to point out how Wollheim (and Wittgenstein) places any rhetoric of the ineffable out of the game, even regarding the analysis of the aesthetic experience. (shrink)
Introduction: the literary function -- Being constructivist -- Rethinking the performative in pragmatics -- The literary function and the cartographic turn: performative philosophy -- The literary function and society, I: affirmation of immanent aesthetics -- The literary function and society, II: community and subjectification -- The reader and the event of fiction -- Conclusion: degrees of freedom.
This is a book focused primarily on reading the *Critique of Judgment* but which takes the central topics of it to be central to understanding the Critical Philosophy generally. It distinguishes types of aesthetics and teleology and in the process suggests an ambitious reconstruction of the landscape of Kant's architectonic.
This book presents a timely reconfiguration of the relations between art, philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. Through connection with a range of contemporary social and philosophical issues and movements, this collection of essays highlights the imperative of sensorial aesthetics. The book focuses on the radical philosophical approach to aesthetics enabled by the works of Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. From these philosophers an older meaning of aesthetic has been recalled. Before it indicated primarily the theory of art and (...) beauty, “aesthetic” referred to the sensibility, the capacity to receive sensations. In summoning this “sensorial” meaning of aesthetics in their respective works, Lyotard, Deleuze, and other recent thinkers turn the philosophical theory of aesthetics away from the dominance of cognitivist and reception theories, and towards a thinking of aesthetics through considerations of the movements of matter, affect, and sensation. (shrink)
Why do people respond emotionally to works of fiction they know are make-believe? Boruah tackles this question, which is fundamental aesthetics and literary studies, from a totally new perspective. Bringing together the various answers that have been offered by philosophers from Aristotle to Roger Scruton, he shows that while some philosophers have denied any rational basis to our emotional responses to fiction, others have argued that the emotions evoked by fiction are not real emotions at all. In response to (...) this, Boruah contends that fictional emotions are rational because they are based on the same sorts of beliefs that we form about real situations and real people. He illustrates this argument with literary examples ranging from Shakespeare to Tolstoy. (shrink)
After being largely unknown to non-siniphone philosophers, Li Zehou's ideas are gradually being translated into English, but very little has been done on his aesthetics, which he says is the key to his oeuvre. In the first of three sections of this paper, I briefly introduce the reader to Kant's aesthetics through Li's eyes, in which he develops an implicit notion of aesthetic freedom as political vehicle through the notions of subjectivity, universalization, and the unity of the cognitive (...) faculties. In the second section, I introduce Marx's notions of 'human nature as practice' and 'freedom as practice', as outlined in his early manuscripts. I conclude that Marx's politics take free practice as the highest expression of humanity, which is finally, ideally, self-legislating. In the final section, I present Li's interpretation of Marx as a remedy for Kant, introducing some of Li's specialized vocabulary and demonstrating his final synthesis of Kant and Marx in a notion of aesthetic freedom that presupposes political freedom. (shrink)
From Plato's Ion to works by contemporary philosophers, this anthology showcases classic texts to illuminate the development of philosophical thought about art and the aesthetic. This volume is the most comprehensive collection of readings on aesthetics and the philosophy of art currently available.
Over the last decade, aesthetic and art theory has played an increasingly significant role in the way work and its organization has come to be understood. Bringing together the work of an international spectrum of academics, this collection contributes, in an overall more critical vein, to such emerging debates. Combining both empirical and theoretical material, each chapter re-evaluates the emerging relationship between art, aesthetics, and work, exploring its potential as both a medium of critical analysis, and as a site (...) of conflict and resistance. (shrink)
Beyond Aesthetics brings together philosophical essays addressing art and related issues by one of the foremost philosophers of art at work today. Countering conventional aesthetic theories - those maintaining that authorial intention, art history, morality and emotional responses are irrelevant to the experience of art - Noël Carroll argues for a more pluralistic and commonsensical view in which all of these factors can play a legitimate role in our encounter with art works. Throughout, the book combines philosophical theorizing with (...) illustrative examples including works of high culture and the avant-garde, as well as works of popular culture, jokes, horror novels, and suspense films. (shrink)
Aesthetics and metaphysics I: the mimetic schema -- Aesthetics and metaphysics II: from Kant to Adorno -- Aesthetics at the limit of metaphysics: intimations of the hypersensible -- Metaphor beyond metaphysics? -- Literature: Proust, Hölderlin -- Sculpture: Chillida.
This book is an introduction to aesthetics, from the perspective of analytic philosophy. It traces aesthetics from its ancient beginnings through the changes it underwent in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and the first half of the twentieth century. The responses in the 1960s of the cultural theories to these earlier developments are discussed in detail. Five traditional art evaluational theories, Beardsley's and Goodman's evaluational theories, and the author's own evaluational theory are presented. Four miscellaneous topics are discussed - internationalist (...) criticism, symbolism, metaphor, and expression. (shrink)
Can we ever claim to understand a work of art or be objective about it? Why have cultures thought it important to separate out a group of objects and call them art? What does aesthetics contribute to our understanding of the natural landscape? Are the concepts of art and the aesthetic elitist? Addressing these and other issues in aesthetics, this important new Oxford Reader includes articles by authors ranging from Aristotle and Xie-He to Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, Michael Baxandall, and (...) Susan Sontag. It focuses on why art and a variety of aesthetics matter to us, and on how perceivers participate in and contribute to the experience of appreciating a work of art. With its multicultural and multidisciplinary scope, this volume shows how anthropology, art history, Chinese theories of painting, and other perspectives both enrich and provide alternatives to classic philosophical accounts of art and the aesthetic. (shrink)
This collection of papers focuses on theories and practices in relation to the arts around the globe, in particular, those that have been ignored or marginalized by analytic or Anglo-American aesthetics and philosophy of art. The intention is to explain specific ways that the concepts of the aesthetic and of the arts might be enriched and enhanced. Indeed, in some cases the participation in artistic practices and the experience of art are deeply embedded in one’ s sense of self, (...) in moral action, and in how one negotiates one’s way through the world. (shrink)