The Philosophy of Art: An Introduction

The Philosophy of Art: An Introduction

Theodore Gracyk

Language: English

Pages: 284

ISBN: 0745649165

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Philosophy of Art is a highly accessible introduction to current key issues and debates in aesthetics and philosophy of art. Chapters on standard topics are balanced by topics of interest to today's students, including creativity, authenticity, cultural appropriation, and the distinction between popular and fine art. Other topics include emotive expression, pictorial representation, definitional strategies, and artistic value. Presupposing no prior knowledge of philosophy, Theodore Gracyk draws on three decades of teaching experience to provide a balanced and engaging overview, clear explanations, and many thought-provoking examples.

All chapters have a strong focus on current debates in the field, yet historical figures are not neglected. Major current theories are set beside key ideas from Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Marx, and Hegel. Chapters conclude with advice on further readings, and there are recommendations of films that will serve as a basis for further reflection and discussion. Key ideas are immediately accompanied by exercises that will test students' reactions and understanding. Many chapters call attention to ideology, prejudices, and common clichés that interfere with clear thinking.

Beautifully written and thoroughly comprehensive, The Philosophy of Art is the ideal resource for anyone who wants to explore recent developments in philosophical thinking about the arts. It is also provides the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to reflect on, and challenge, their own assumptions about the nature and value of art.

















point of this process? What do we ultimately gain from our engagements with tools and other things that possess purely instrumental value? Aristotle (1999) argues that happiness is ultimately the one thing at which all our activities aim. The claim that happiness is the only such thing has been extensively debated, but it is not the point that concerns us here. Aristotle proposes that human activities do not make sense unless their consequences are intended to terminate in reasonable goals.

purpose. Can you imagine sitting for a painting in order to secure a likeness for your passport? As photog-raphy replaced painting as a way of creating likenesses, painters explored other cognitive purposes. Painted portraits became far more expressive, and representational practices became more creative. This strategy makes cognitivism more pluralistic. This point is consist-ent with the fact that most cognitivists already endorse value pluralism, the position that the answer we seek will not

Taoism, 43, 53 Tate Modern (London), 187 Tetens, Johann, 44 theatre, 3, 23–5, 33, 40, 57, 72, 87, 98, 145, 147–8, 159–60, 176–77, 180 This Old House, 111 Th ompson, Emma, 84, 89 Titanic, 34 Tolkien, J. R. R. (John Ronald Reuel): The Lord of the Rings, 26–7, 33–5 Tolstoy, Leo, 25–9, 32, 34, 70, 93, 109, 137–8, 161 Anna Karenina, 25 criticism of, 26–7 Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de, 150 Townshend, Pete, 67 tragedy, 23–4, 36, 90, 145, 160, 176 problem of, 24 transparency thesis, 12–14, 17 Troy, 23, 57

on its purpose. We don’t have to look very far into the past for this effect. The television program This Old House features a reoccurring segment in which builders and contractors are challenged to classify nineteenth-century tools by sight alone. They are frequently baffled. (Have a look at Duchamp’s Bottle Rack [1914] and guess at its original purpose.) Although the Paleolithic cave paintings of Altamira and Lascaux are featured in many art-history texts as examples of the earliest art, there

“Should implies can” tells us that we should not view nature in this way. Second, Saito argues that an appropriate aesthetic response to nature should be informed by moral interests. We should not, for example, admire the mushroom cloud of an atomic explosion as it destroys a city. Similarly, we should not withhold our normal moral judgments in order to aesthetically appreciate all of nature. Some natural events are threaten-ing and harmful, and it would be wrong to abandon our moral concern for

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