Art and the aesthetic -- Traditional aestheticism -- A new aestheticism -- Aesthetic communication -- The artworld and the practice of art -- The artifactual concept of function -- Art as an aesthetic practice -- Artistic value as aesthetic.
Like most aestheticians today I begin by firmly separating the concept of art from the concept of the aesthetic; unlike them, I conclude by reuniting these concepts in the thesis that the function of art is to promote the aesthetic. I understand the existence of artworks and of artists to be “institutional facts”, while I take “aesthetic situations,” involving appreciators and objects made, at least in part, to be appreciated, to constitute something approaching a natural kind. Rather than dealing directly (...) with the concept of a function I argue for three theses closely related to the idea that the function of art is aesthetic: that art is better than any other institution at promoting the aesthetic; that art is better at promoting the aesthetic than it is at doing anything else; and that art was intended by its instituters to promote the aesthetic. (shrink)
Jerrold Levinson’s Music in the Moment is a welcome addition to the impressive list of books in aesthetics, particularly the philosophy of music, published in the last several years by Cornell University Press. In it Levinson expounds and defends a view, inspired by the work of the nineteenth-century English psychologist and musician Edmund Gurney, that he calls “concatenationism.” This view is billed as “a defense of the intuitive listener” against Schenkerian and other “architectonicist” theorists promoting the notion that “elaborate apprehensions (...) of the form and technique of music are necessary to understanding it”. (shrink)
In a series of articles Gerald Massey has defended “the asymmetry thesis,” the thesis that “at the present stage of logical theory our ability to prove validity totally eclipses our ability to show invalidity.” My initial strategy in discussing this thesis will be to close in on it gradually by considering, sometimes summarily but sometimes in greater detail, various distinguishable theses in the neighborhood, gradually approximating the thesis which Massey wishes to defend.
In The Aesthetic Function of Art, I was mainly concerned to show how my “new aestheticism” can meet standard objections to aestheticism, but I have come to realize that, since it is as much a new institutionalism as it is a new aestheticism, its institutionalist aspect requires defense as much as its aestheticist aspect does. In this article, I show how a judicious aestheticizing of George Dickie's second version of the institutional theory of art, incorporating fundamental features of my own (...) view, can meet what seems to me to be the most serious objection to institutionalism in general, the dilemma famously proposed by Richard Wollheim. (shrink)
One of the main aims of modern logic at its inception was to show that mathematics could be "reduced to logic"; that is, that mathematical notions could be defined in terms of logical constants in the sense in which we have defined some logical ...