Aesthetics (Fundamentals of Philosophy)

Aesthetics (Fundamentals of Philosophy)

Colin Lyas

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0773516476

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The book includes engaging discussions of all of the areas central to aesthetics: aesthetic experience, representation, expression, the definition and ontology of art, evaluation, interpretation, truth, and morality. As well as providing a solid grounding in the seminal theories of Plato, Immanuel Kant, and Benedetto Croce, it presents the ideas of contemporary analytic thinkers, such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Nelson Goodman, and the iconoclastic views of continental theorists, such as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. Concerned throughout with enhancing the reader's response to art, Colin Lyas brings his theoretical discussions to life with a wealth of topical examples of human creativity that are familiar to young people: Bowie as well as Beethoven, Warhol as well as Whistler. With comprehensive, up-to-date guides to further reading, Aesthetics is an invaluable introduction for students taking philosophy of art courses and essential reading for anyone who wishes to be informed and inspired to think about and experience art in a new way.














begins: That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Frà Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Note the strength of the language used. The thing is called “a 37 NATURE’S MIRROR: IMITATION, REPRESENTATION & IMAGINATION wonder”. People, indeed, stand in amazement before representations. Something powerful is going on here. Interest in representation is as ubiquitous as our involvement with the aesthetic. Pictures

choices, as when I choose to lie or steal. Croce, I think rightly, says expression is not a matter of choice. The youth who stayed to arrange the window in order to express himself certainly chose to do that. He was, too, acting voluntarily when moving the pieces of glass. But there is a good sense in which the resulting expression was not chosen. Firstly, the youth did not choose what he felt the need to express. Secondly, until the expression was achieved the artist could not have known what it

intellectually suspect. Duchamp, Beuys and Cage Mention of Beuys leads me to ways in which a conception of art as expression helps, much more than institution accounts have ever done, with puzzling cases of avant-garde art. Here are some examples: Duchamp Of each of the elements in a work of art we can ask “why that and not that?”, “why there and not there?” “why that word, colour, keychange?”. Duchamp’s Fontaine is not just a urinal, randomly put where it is. It is cunning. So we can ask these

makes in talking about literature: 154 FREEDOMS The literary subject has no other substance than the reader’s subjectivity; Raskolnikov’s waiting is my waiting which I lend him. Without this impatience of the reader he would remain only a collection of signs… On the other hand the words are there like traps to arouse our feelings and to reflect them towards us. Each word has a path of transcendence; it shapes our feelings, names them, attributes to them an imaginary personage who takes it upon

determinacy necessary for communication is impossible. If Derrida allows communication, it is appropriate to ask what makes possible that understanding of another’s meaning that communication requires. Here it is tempting to think that when we understand the meaning of an utterance we do so by recognizing in it the intention, whether the speaker knew it or not, of that speaker to say some particular thing. That reply would not be available to Derrida, if what I have called his first premise

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