An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

Language: English

Pages: 322

ISBN: 1107614449

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art is a clear and compact survey of philosophical theories of the nature and value of art, including in its scope literature, painting, sculpture, music, dance, architecture, movies, conceptual art and performance art. This second edition incorporates significant new research on topics including pictorial depiction, musical expression, conceptual art, Hegel, and art and society. Drawing on classical and contemporary philosophy, literary theory and art criticism, Richard Eldridge explores the representational, formal and expressive dimensions of art. He argues that the aesthetic and semantic density of the work, in inviting imaginative exploration, makes works of art cognitively, morally and socially important. This importance is further elaborated in discussions of artistic beauty, originality, imagination and criticism. His accessible study will be invaluable to students of philosophy of art and aesthetics.

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or a piece of music demonstrably represents.”8 Though a theorist might then ‘‘fall back on the claim” that abstract paintings and works of music represent emotions or states of mind such as anger or grief, this move stretches the notions of representation and imitation beyond any reasonable limits, Sheppard argues, since for some works we can neither see the subject matter presented in the work (in the way we can see objects in representational paintings) nor see 6 Aristotle, Poetics, pp. 1--2.

than according to any definite plan, the successful work of art resembles such sublime, terrifying yet invigorating natural phenomena as overhanging rocks, storms at sea, and raging torrents. Arguably Kant overstates the point, in that makers of art must have some rough conception of what they are trying to do (compose a sonata or paint a still life or write a novel, say). Moreover, the ability to produce art successfully can be cultivated through training and practice. But (like Aristotle in

complex, since the action of artistic making is frequently temporally extended, and since the thoughts, reasons, plans, intentions, and so forth of the agent are formed out of publicly intelligible strategies, some articulated and some not, we need not and should not linger on worries about any single ‘‘real intentional cause” of the artist’s action. Any story that cogently relates details of the work and of collateral historical evidence where available to any aspect of the artist’s complex

moviemaking, painting, lyric-writing, and so on. Carroll’s suggestion aptly focuses on the role in identifying art of the kinds of narratives that are 23 Jerrold Levinson, ‘‘Defining Art Historically,” British Journal of Aesthetics 19 (1979), reprinted in Philosophy of Art, ed. Weill and Ridley, pp. 223--39 at p. 236. 24 Carroll, Philosophy of Art, p. 258. 159 160 An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art often produced by critics, curators, and reviewers to accompany exhibitions,

and genuine response. Perhaps, for example, it is important, for whatever reason, for the parties to relationships in which the exchange of this card might figure to acknowledge and accept the full ordinariness and yet value of their lives together. Yet the card can also seem hollowly sentimental. In the third case, the response that is invited is more a matter of specific engagement and feeling-with, rather than the upsurge of an emotion that is independently describable and apt in its specific

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