Art Clusters: The Importance of Similarities in Aesthetic Research and Education

Journal of Aesthetic Education 55 (4):40-50 (2021)
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Abstract

In his presidential address, at the fiftieth anniversary of the American Society of Aesthetics in 1992, Peter Kivy suggested that "progress in the philosophy of art in the immediate future is to be made not by theorizing in the grand manner, but by careful and imaginative philosophical scrutiny of the individual arts and their individual problems." The study of the individual arts, and the differences between them, has, in the ensuing decades, provided a useful corrective to aesthetic theorizing in the grand manner. In this essay, I urge philosophers of art, art educators, and art theorists to consider a different option—the rigorous and creative investigation of art clusters: that is, various collections of artworks and art kinds, unified by significant similarities and cutting across the recognized artforms and genres.

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Aaron Meskin
University of Georgia

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