Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art: An Introduction (Elements of Philosophy)

Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art: An Introduction (Elements of Philosophy)

Robert Stecker

Language: English

Pages: 328

ISBN: 0742564118

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Praised in its original edition for its up-to-date, rigorous presentation of current debates and for the clarity of its presentation, Robert Stecker's new edition of Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art preserves the major themes and conclusions of the original, while expanding its content, providing new features, and enhancing accessibility. Stecker introduces students to the history and evolution of aesthetics, and also makes an important distinction between aesthetics and philosophy of art. While aesthetics is the study of value, philosophy of art deals with a much wider array of questions including issues in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, as well value theory. Described as a 'remarkably unified introduction to many contemporary debates in aesthetics and the philosophy of art,' Stecker specializes in sympathetically laying bear the play of argument that emerges as competing views on a topic engage each other. This book does not simply present a controversy in its current state of play, but instead demonstrates a philosophical mind at work helping to advance the issue toward a solution.

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on some question of ethical value without regarding the work as unworthy of a prescribed response as long as it convinces us that its outlook represents an option that merits consideration. Drama and cinematic fiction when they have similar thematic content would fall into the same category. Documentary film would also, but for a somewhat different reason, namely, its literal claim to represent reality carries with it a demand to get moral reality more or less right. To briefly illustrate

Worlds, ed. Philip Alperson. University Park: Pennsylvania University Press. ———. 1998a. “Wollheim on Pictorial Representation.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56:227–33. ———, ed. 1998b. Aesthetics and Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ———. 2001. “Aesthetic Properties, Evaluative Forces, and Differences in Sensibility.” In Aesthetic Concepts: Essays after Sibley, eds. Emily Brady and Jerrold Levinson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 61–80. ———. 2005.

also may have cultural meanings or significance as cherry blossoms and autumnal maples have in Japanese culture.10 In addition, we can add structural or etiological properties emphasized by order appreciation. This conception of aesthetic experience accounts for the various features of the aesthetic appreciation of nature noted above: the importance of close observation and knowledge of observable properties, the possibility of appreciation being enhanced by additional knowledge, and the

1995, 151). Goldman speaks of appreciating an artwork in this passage, but it is important to bear in mind that he is concerned with the aesthetic value of art understood as a paradigm of aesthetic value per se. Goldman has a much wider conception of engagement than either Schopenhauer or Bell. Such engagement does not exclude attention to a work’s representational properties, historical context, referential or symbolic content along with sensuous, formal, and expressive properties. Indeed, what

pity. However, in the case of Sally pitying Anna, the true proposition before Sally’s mind is not that someone suffers or that someone did or might suffer, but that that there is someone (Anna) who suffers in the fiction. Sally believes this, but it is not so clear that this belief suffices to explain Sally’s feeling. There are many cases where people believe that it’s true in a fiction that someone suffers, but they don’t feel pity. Here is an imaginary example. Suppose a novel opens with

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