The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics
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The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics is the most authoritative survey of the central issues in contemporary aesthetics available. The volume features eighteen newly commissioned papers on the evaluation of art, the interpretation of art, and many other forms of art such as literature, movies, and music.
- Provides a guide to the central traditional and cutting edge issues in aesthetics today.
- Written by a distinguished cast of contributors, including Peter Kivy, George Dickie, Noël Carroll, Paul Guyer, Ted Cohen, Marcia Eaton, Joseph Margolis, Berys Gaut, Nicholas Wolterstrorff, Susan Feagin, Peter Lamarque, Stein Olsen, Francis Sparshott, Alan Goldman, Jenefer Robinson, Mary Mothersill, Donald Crawford, Philip Alperson, Laurent Stern and Amie Thomasson.
- Functions as the ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in aesthetics, art theory, and philosophy of art.
seen to be the same: aesthetics was not susceptible of a philosophical “critique.”What a philosophical critique amounted to was, of course, a very different thing for Kant from what it was for Anglo-American philosophy: a “transcendental” critique for Kant, a “linguistic” or “conceptual” critique for the analysts. But the moral of the story was much the same. Questions concerning art, beauty, taste, and criticism were empirical questions for psychology or anthropology, sociology or art history to
always pointed t o the conceptual as well as the perceptual facets of artworks. Libraries (and now the internet) are full of discussions of artworks that include references t o much more than perceptual properties to moral, political, or philosophical aspects, for instance created long before the so-called conceptual art movement. It was only the narrowest, strictest formalists who insisted that all such artistic discussion is irrelevant to genuine or pure aesthetic experiences. My own view is
after the composer’s death, when the last performance is finished, and that the work itself would have been different had last night’s performance been cancelled. Given the failure of attempts t o identify works of art with imaginary entities, and to identify a t least many sorts of work with physical objects, the remaining option that naturally arises is to consider some or all works of art as abstract entities. Thus, for instance, Richard Wollheim holds that works of literature and - 82 The
interpretations based on merely subjective responses by other critics, professional or amateur. In everyday contexts, outside of the arts, we accept only the best available interpretation for our purposes. Matters are not different in the context of the arts. To be sure, yesterday’s best interpretation may become today’s second-best interpretation, but as soon as it is judged second best, it is discredited; it becomes a misinterpretation. If we accept only the best available interpretation for
things that can bear moral properties, viz., persons or person-like entities to whom the relevant mental properties apply. 2 Artworks are not the kinds of things that can bear moral properties; they are not persons or person-like entities to whom the relevant mental properties apply. 3 Therefore, artworks cannot be evaluated morally. Let us grant the first premise, for purposes of argument. The question then becomes whether artworks are the sorts of things that can bear mental properties.