The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics (Routledge Philosophy Companions)
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The third edition of the acclaimed Routledge Companion to Aesthetics contains over sixty chapters written by leading international scholars covering all aspects of aesthetics.
This companion opens with an historical overview of aesthetics including entries on Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, Benjamin, Foucault, Goodman, and Wollheim. The second part covers the central concepts and theories of aesthetics, including the definitions of art, taste, the value of art, beauty, imagination, fiction, narrative, metaphor and pictorial representation. Part three is devoted to issues and challenges in aesthetics, including art and ethics, art and religion, creativity, environmental aesthetics and feminist aesthetics. The final part addresses the individual arts, including music, photography, film, videogames, literature, theater, dance, architecture and design.
With ten new entries, and revisions and updated suggestions for further reading throughout, The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics is essential for anyone interested in aesthetics, art, literature, and visual studies.
knowledge and is detrimental to the human mind, Plato banishes poetry from his ideal city. We may wonder how much of poetry this aﬀects. At the beginning of the discussion “poetry that is mimetic” is to be excluded, but by the end it appears that all poetry is meant, and the intervening argument seems to tell us that all poetry is indeed mimetic, although Homer and the tragic poets (seen as a single tradition) provide the most focused target. Plato proposes to retain some poetry, namely “hymns to
Nature of the Good 3, Augustine 1953). If this seems rather abstract it should be read in conjunction with his lyrical praise of the glories of nature in the Confessions where he writes of “the light shining from above: the sun to serve the day, the moon and the stars to give cheer in the night” and of the glories of the sea and land, of ﬁsh, fauna and ﬂora (Confessions XXXII), thereby reconnecting the creation aesthetic of scripture, and anticipating the nature aesthetic of later times. Between
as by Dante (1265–1321) in La divina commedia. Returning to the general account of beauty, and reaching the scholastic period to which the greatest thinkers of later medieval philosophy belong, there is common focus on relationships of form, and of aptness or suitability. The ﬁrst introduces the notion of the composition of parts, and the second the idea that context and content are also determining factors. In that respect they combine elements of formalism with the aspect of what might be
the aesthetic very broadly. Art, for him, comprises more than merely “selecting” and “highlighting”; it comprises all “creation and imposition of forms.” In the presence of an artist “something new soon arises, a ruling structure that lives, in which parts and functions are delimited and coordinated, in which nothing whatever ﬁnds a place that has not ﬁrst been assigned a ‘meaning’ in relation to the whole” (Nietzsche 1969b: 86–87). Thus art includes any (and every) transformative, interpretative
but how it functions in dynamic experience. He therefore advocates that we replace the question “What is art?” with the question “When is art?” (Goodman 1969: 259; 1978: 70, 102; 1984: 6, 148). Moreover, Goodman oﬀers a critique of contemporary museum practices and ideology that greatly resembles the spirit of Dewey’s critique of the museum conception of ﬁne art, though Goodman of course has a very diﬀerent style of argumentation (Goodman 1984). Both thinkers warn against the fetishization and