Machine generated contents note: Introduction: The Rise of Philosophical Art Criticism 1 -- Chapter 1. In the Beginning Was Formalism 17 -- Chapter 2. The Structuralist Adventure 33 -- Chapter 3. The Historicist, Antiessentialist Definition of Art 55 -- Chapter 4. Resentment and Its Discontents 71 -- Chapter 5. The Deconstruction of Structuralism 87 -- Afterword: The Fate of Philosophical Art Criticism 111.
Since the mid-1980s, Arthur C. Danto has been increasingly concerned with the implications of the demise of modernism. Out of the wake of modernist art, Danto discerns the emergence of a radically pluralistic art world. His essays illuminate this novel art world as well as the fate of criticism within it. As a result, Danto has crafted the most compelling philosophy of art criticism since Clement Greenberg. Gregg Horowitz and Tom Huhn analyze the constellation of philosophical and critical (...) elements in Danto's new- Hegelian art theory. In a provocative encounter, they employ themes from Kantian aesthetics to elucidate the continuing persistence of taste in shaping even this most sophisticated philosophy of art. (shrink)
This paper explores the dialogue between Collingwood and Guido de Ruggiero on art and art criticism. The sense of identity of these two activities, it will be argued, can be understood only if one considers the criticism of living art: The art of one who also creates, who through a critical process transforms an outline into a work of art. Thus understood a work of art belongs to the life of the spirit, if considered from the dimension of (...) becoming. Only by reliving the past can it be transformed, yet this requires an understanding of the map of human experience. This is what constitutes specular phenomenology, a phenomenology reflected in the mirror of art and scientific analysis. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is methodological. It offers a comprehensive mapping of the theoretical positions on the ethical criticism of art, correcting omissions and inadequacies in the conceptual framework adopted in the current debate. Three principles are recommended as general guidelines: ethical amenability, basic value pluralism, and relativity to ethical dimension. Hence a taxonomy distinguishing between different versions of autonomism, moralism, and immoralism is established, by reference to criteria that are different from what emerging in the current literature. (...) The mapping is then proved capable of (1) locating the various theories that have been proposed so far and clarifying such theories’ real commitments, (2) having the correct relationship with actual art making and art criticism practices, and (3) showing the real weight of the alleged counter-example to a moralist position of a work that succeeds artistically because of its immorality. (shrink)
Much contemporary art seems morally out of control. Yet, philosophers seem to have trouble finding the right way to morally evaluate works of art. The debate between autonomists and moralists, I argue, has turned into a stalemate due to two mistaken assumptions. Against these assumptions, I argue that the moral nature of a work's contents does not transfer to the work and that, if we are to morally evaluate works we should try to conceive of them as moral agents. Ethical (...) autonomism holds that art's autonomy consists in its demand that art appreciators take up an artistic attitude. A work's agency then is in how it merits their audiences' attitudinal switch. Ethical autonomism allows for the moral assessment of art works without giving up their autonomy, by viewing artistic merit as a moral category and art-relevant moral evaluation as having the form of art criticism. (shrink)
This book presents an innovative analysis of the role of imagination as a central concept in both literary and art criticism. Dee Reynolds brings this approach to bear on works by Rimbaud, Mallarme;, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. It allows her to redefine the relationship between Symbolism and abstract art, and to contribute new methodological perspectives to comparative studies of poetry and painting. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a crucial period in the emergence of new modes of representation, (...) and is currently at the forefront of critical enquiry. This is the first book to examine Symbolism and abstraction in this way, and the first to treat these poets and painters together. It is an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship in art history, literary history, and comparative aesthetics. (shrink)
A timely and philosophically significant contribution to modern aesthetics featuring some of the best contemporary work in philosophical studies of literature, moral beliefs, and thinking in art Reflects the importance of a moral life of engagement with works of art Forms part of the prestigious New Directions in Aesthetics series, which confronts the most intriguing problems in aesthetics and the philosophy of art today.
In Art and intention Paisley Livingston develops a broad and balanced perspective on perennial disputes between intentionalists and anti-intentionalists in philosophical aesthetics and critical theory. He surveys and assesses a wide range of rival assumptions about the nature of intentions and the status of intentionalist psychology. With detailed reference to examples from diverse media, art forms, and traditions, he demonstrates that insights into the multiple functions of intentions have important implications for our understanding of artistic creation and authorship, the ontology (...) of art, conceptions of texts, works, and versions, basic issues pertaining to the nature of fiction and fictional truth, and the theory of art interpretation and appreciation. Livingston argues that neither the inspirationist nor rationalistic conceptions can capture the blending of deliberate and intentional, spontaneous and unintentional processes in the creation of art. Texts, works, and artistic structures and performances cannot be adequately individuated in the absence of a recognition of the relevant makers4intentions. The distinction between complete and incomplete works receives an action-theoretic analysis that makes possible an elucidation of several different senses of "fragment" in critical discourse. Livingston develops an account of authorship, contending that the recognition of intentions is in fact crucial to our understanding of diverse forms of collective art-making. An artist's short-term intentions and long-term plans and policies interact in complex ways in the emergence of an artistic oeuvre, and our uptake of such attitudes makes an important difference to our appreciation of the relations between items belonging to a single life-work. The intentionalism Livingston advocates is, however, a partial one, and accommodates a number of important anti-intentionalist contentions. Intentions are fallible, and works of art, like other artefacts, can be put to a bewildering diversity of uses. Yet some important aspects of art's meaning and value are linked to the artist's aims and activities. (shrink)
Refuting the assumption that art is a representational practice, Bolt's striking argument engages with the work of Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari, C.S.Peirce and Judith Butler to argue for a performative relationship between art and artist. Drawing on themes as diverse as the work of Cezanne and of Francis Bacon, the transubstantiation of the Catholic sacrament and Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray , she challenges the metaphor of light as enlightenment, reconceiving this revealing light as the blinding glare of (...) the Australian sun, and suggests that too much light may in fact reveal nothing. Finally she asks: how does an embodied practice fare within the culture of conceptual art? (shrink)
Why are visual artworks experienced as having intrinsic significance or normative depth? Why are some works of art better able to manifest this significance than others? In his latest book Paul Crowther argues that we can answer these questions only if we have a full analytic definition of visual art. Crowther's approach focuses on the pictorial image, broadly construed to include abstract work and recent conceptually-based idioms. The significance of art depends, however, essentially on the transhistorical nature of the pictorial (...) image, the way in which its illuminative power is extended through historical transformation of the relevant artistic medium. Crowther argues against fashionable forms of cultural relativism, while at the same time showing why it is important that an appreciation of the history of art is integral to aesthetic judgment. (shrink)
The Critical Imagination is a study of metaphor, imaginativeness, and criticism of the arts. Since the eighteenth century, many philosophers have argued that appreciating art is rewarding because it involves responding imaginatively to a work. Literary works can be interpreted in many ways; architecture can be seen as stately, meditative, or forbidding; and sensitive descriptions of art are often colourful metaphors: music can 'shimmer', prose can be 'perfumed', and a painter's colouring can be 'effervescent'. Engaging with art, like creating (...) it, seems to offer great scope for imagination. Hume, Kant, Oscar Wilde, Roger Scruton, and others have defended variations on this attractive idea. In this book, James Grant critically examines it. The first half explains the role imaginativeness plays in criticism. To do this, Grant answers three questions that are of interest in their own right. First, what are the aims of criticism? Is the point of criticizing a work to evaluate it, to explain it, to modify our response to it, or something else? Second, what is it to appreciate art? Third, what is imaginativeness? He gives new answers to all three questions, and uses them to explain the role of imaginativeness in criticism. The book's second half focuses on metaphor. Why are some metaphors so effective? How do we understand metaphors? Are some thoughts expressible only in metaphor? Grant's answers to these questions go against much current thinking in the philosophy of language. He uses these answers to explain why imaginative metaphors are so common in art criticism. The result is a rigorous and original theory of metaphor, criticism, imaginativeness, and their interrelations. (shrink)
As an art theoretician, and as a father, I focus on the social and political consequences of Vanderbeeken’s postmodernist negative theology. I express doubts about the relevance of a poetics of catastrophe that conflates any possible alternative to the alleged technocracy under the sign of the simulacrum. To my opinion, the discourse about the virtual and the real are in a deadlock. Following the lead of American novelist Thomas Pynchon, I rephrase these critical doubts in Luddite terms: should we imagine (...) a counterattack as radical as the alleged dystopian nightmare dreamed up and sketched out by Vanderbeeken? I try to show that this line of thinking risks to result in a bold and speculative logic where ethical nuance collapses and, ultimately, the relationship between art, theory and the social culture is reduced to metaphorical analogy. To make this point I retake a critical, phenomenologically inspired reaction by Vivian Sobchack to Baudrillard’s account of Crash, J.G. Ballard’s controversial novel on techno-fetishism. My argument is that the scar that marks Sobchack’s ‘technobody’ might here stand for an alternative that approaches our technological condition not as a discursive machine but as a social pragmatics with deep ethical implications. (shrink)
Pandey, V. Introduction.--Kalelkar, K. S. Jainism, a familyhood of all religions.--David, M. D. From Risabha to Mahavira.--Chalil, J. E. Glimpses of Southern Jainism.--Gopani, A. S. Life and culture in Jaina narrative literature, 8th, 9th and 10th century A.D.--Gopani, A. S. Position of women in Jaina literature.--Ranka, R. Evolution of Jaina thought.--Pandey, V. Jaina philosophy and religion.--Shah, C. C. Jainism and modern life.--Sankalia, H. D. The great renunciation.--Shah, U. P. Jaina contribution to Indian art.--Gorakshkar, S. Early metal images of the Jainas.--Bhagwati, (...) U. Bibliographical aids for the study of Jainism. (shrink)
In this essay, then, I would like to address what I believe are the most compelling epistemic arguments against the notion that literature (and art more broadly) can function as an instrument of education and a source of knowledge.
According to Arthur Danto, post-modern or post-historical art began when artists like Andy Warhol collapsed the Modern distinction between art and everyday life by bringing “the everyday” into the artworld. I begin by pointing out that there is another way to collapse this distinction: bring art out of the artworld and into everyday life. An especially effective way of doing this to make street art, which, I argue, is art whose meaning depends on its use of the street. I defend (...) this definition and show how it handles graffiti and public art. (shrink)
This paper takes a cognitive perspective to assess the significance of some Late Palaeolithic artefacts (sculptures and engraved objects) for philosophicalconcepts of art. We examine cognitive capacities that are necessary to produceand recognize objects that are denoted as art. These include the ability toattribute and infer design (design stance), the ability to distinguish between themateriality of an object and its meaning (symbol-mindedness), and an aesthetic sensitivity to some perceptual stimuli. We investigate to what extent thesecognitive processes played a role in (...) the production and appreciation of somerecently discovered Palaeolithic artefacts. (shrink)
Defining “criticism” is a simple—but bedeviling—task. No less a critic and theorist than Edwin Black begins with the simple statement that “criticism is what critics do.” While he admits that this seems like an empty definition, Black does note that it has one redeeming feature—“It compels us to focus on the critic” (1978, 4). Criticism and those who engage in it are integrally connected, and any account of critical activity must deal with both the activity and its (...) actor. In this way, it is much like art—one could easily utter that “art is what artists do.” Criticism is often tied to art and its products, so this appears to be a fair way to proceed in an investigation of criticism. Yet I would argue .. (shrink)
A standard art-ontological position is to construe repeatable artworks as abstract objects that admit multiple concrete instances. Since photographic artworks are putatively repeatable, the ontology of photographic art is by default modelled after standard repeatable-work ontology. I argue, however, that the construal of photographic artworks as abstracta mistakenly ignores photography’s printmaking genealogy, specifically its ontological inheritance. More precisely, I claim that the products of printmaking media (prints) minimally must be construed in a manner consistent with basic print ontology, the most (...) plausible model of which looks decidedly nominalist (what I call the relevant similarity model) and that as such, photographic artworks must be likewise construed, not as abstracta but as individual and distinct concreta. That is, the correct ontological account of photographic art must be one according to which photographic artworks are individual and distinct concrete artworks. In the end, I show that the ontology of photographic art resists the standard repeatable-work model because the putative repeatability of photographic artworks is upon closer inspection nothing more than the relevant similarity relation between individual and distinct photographic prints. (shrink)
In this volume, the third in his classic series on art theory, Moshe Barasch traces the hidden patterns and interlocking themes in the study of art, from impressionism to abstract art. Barasch details the immense social changes in the creation, presentation, and reception of art which have set the history of art theory on a vertiginous new course: the decreased relevance of workshops and art schools; the replacement of the treatise by the critical review; and the emerging interrelationship between scientific (...) inquiry and artistic theory. The consequent changes in the ways in which critics as well as artists conceptualized paintings and sculptures were radical, marked by an obsession with intense sensory experiences, psychological reflection on the effects of art, and an attraction to the exotic and alien--making for the most exciting and fertile period in the history of art criticism. (shrink)
Art, Mimesis and the Avant-Garde explores the relationship between art and philosophy. Andrew Benjamin argues for a reworking of the task of philosophy in terms of the centrality of ontology. It is in relation to this centrality, understood through the differences between modes of being, that art, mimesis, and the avant-garde come to be presented. A fundamental part of this book is the original interpretations of important contemporary painters and their themes: Lucian Freud's self-portraits, Francis Bacon's use of mirrors, (...) R. B. Kitaj and Jewish identity, Anselm Kiefer and iconoclasm. Apart from painting, Benjamin considers architecture, literature, and the philosophical writings of Walter Benjamin and Descartes in elaborating the various aspects of ontological difference. Benjamin develops the theory of the avant-garde as a philosophical category rather than a historical marker, thus bringing the worlds of contemporary art criticism and contemporary philosophy closer together. (shrink)
Despite appeals to Hume in debates over moralism in art criticism, we lack an adequate account of Hume’s moralist aesthetics, as presented in “Of the Standard of Taste.” I illuminate that aesthetics by pursuing a problem, the moral prejudice dilemma, that arises from a tension between the “freedom from prejudice” Hume requires of aesthetic judges and what he says about the relevance of moral considerations to art evaluation. I disarm the dilemma by investigating the taxonomy of prejudices by which (...) Hume justifies the true judge’s moralism. The result distinguishes Hume’s aesthetic and moral points of view while defending aesthetic moralism. (shrink)
In "A Restriction for Pictures and Some Consequences for a Theory of Depiction", Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61, 4 (2003): 381-394, Michael Newall defended a resemblance view of depiction. He concentrated on pictures X involving a perpendicular view of the physical surface of another picture Y, and argued that the actual restrictions on what picture X can depict of Y's physical surface are best explained by a strict resemblance or similarity view. But I show that there are (...) many problems with his approach, so that overall it is no more successful than more standard resemblance views of depiction. (shrink)
In this volume, the third in his classic series of texts surveying the history of art theory, Moshe Barasch traces the hidden patterns and interlocking themes in the study of art, from Impressionism to Abstract Art. Barasch details the immense social changes in the creation, presentation, and reception of art which have set the history of art theory on a vertiginous new course: the decreased relevance of workshops and art schools; the replacement of the treatise by the critical review; and (...) the interrelation of new modes of scientific inquiry with artistic theory and praxis. The consequent changes in the ways in which critics as well as artists conceptualized paintings and sculptures were radical, marked by an obsession with intense, immediate sensory experiences, psychological reflection on the effects of art, and a magnetic pull to the exotic and alien, making for the most exciting and fertile period in the history of art criticism. (shrink)