Full text
Hungerland, Isabel C.. The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts
1962, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 36: 43 - 66.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Introduction: There are two sorts of descriptions, or accounts, that we can give of works of art or of anything else that makes up our world of relatively stable objects. I can describe a painting, a chair, a mountain, or a man in terms of colors, shapes, spatial relation of parts, and so on. I can also describe the same four objects by talking about the dynamic ten sions of the first, or its lack of visual balance; the grace and elegance of the second; the gloominess or majesty of the third; and the trimness or gawkiness of the fourth. The first sort of description, or account, may answer a wide variety of general purposes, central among them that of identifying particular objects. A museum curator might so describe a painting for future reference in identifying the particular work of one painter; an auctioneer identifies pieces of furniture by such descriptions; a map-maker, a mountain; and a police department, a Man Wanted. The second sort of account of the same objects could not usefully serve such purposes. The second sort, usually if not always, is found in the context of the evaluating of objects. “This is a fine Sheraton chair-it is graceful, but sturdy.” Here, relevant reasons are furnished for an aesthe tic rating of an object, and the first sort of description does not, and could not, serve this function

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Lord, Catherine. Aesthetic unity
1961, Journal of Philosophy 58 (12):321-327.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: FEW hold “A poem should not mean, but be” as dogma any longer, but most aestheticians agree that a work of art cannot be exhaustively paraphrased. Few dispute that the aesthetic ex- perience is, in some sense, disinterested, but the terms of that disinterestedness are still debated. I suggest that the work of art and the aesthetic experience are congruent and that an analysis of this congruence reveals both the nature of the import of art and the character of the aesthetic experience. I found my analysis on a faculty framework because I am convinced that neither the aesthetic experience nor the import of art can be illuminated without a fairly rigorous epistemology in which the roles of the imagination and the understanding are clearly defined. My framework is avowedly Kantian, for I think that the very incommensurability of the imagination and the un- derstanding, as emphasized by Kant, does more justice to the phenomenology of the aesthetic experience than an analysis of the cognitive faculties that stresses a difference in degree rather than kind.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Meager, Ruby. Art and beauty
1974, British Journal of Aesthetics 14 (2):99-105.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: The concept of beauty is itself still obscure to us; the power and the modus operandi of the beautiful is as mysterious, if not as terrible, to us as to Plato (unless indeed one allows Kant some credit here). But does it not have more to do with what we have chosen and valued as art through the ages of human production than individual sophistication, autonomy, originality, spontaneity, etc., in the artist? It.is not, after all, R. because Shakespeare is superior in these, or in political or practical wisdom, or in self-awareness, or in many-layered ambiguity, to, say, Dr. Johnson, that Shakespeare’s poetry is memorable and the articulate and learned Doctor’s is forgettable.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Mothersill, Mary. Beauty Restored
1984, Clarendon Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: In this book the author assesses the main trends of recent aesthetics and makes two important philosophical claims: one, that there are genuine (that is, true and demonstrable) judgments of taste, and two, that there are no principles or laws of taste. In a penetrating and insightful defense of these theses, Mothersill addresses the question of their compatibility and develops the contrast between aesthetic and ethical reasoning and between beauty and the sublime.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Savedoff, Barbara E.. The art object
1989, British Journal of Aesthetics 29 (2):160-167.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: The art work cannot be identified simply with a physical object, there has been an emphasis on the importance of theory context, and convention and a corresponding de-emphasis of the importance of the physical object for the identification of a work. In the hurry to abandon the object and to adopt theory as the means of identifying the art work, the importance of the object in that identification has sometimes been underestimated.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Full text
Scarry, Elaine. On Beauty and Being Just
2001, Princeton University Press.
Expand entry
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Publisher’s Note: Have we become beauty-blind? For two decades or more in the humanities, various political arguments have been put forward against beauty: that it distracts us from more important issues; that it is the handmaiden of privilege; and that it masks political interests. In On Beauty and Being Just Elaine Scarry not only defends beauty from the political arguments against it but also argues that beauty does indeed press us toward a greater concern for justice. Taking inspiration from writers and thinkers as diverse as Homer, Plato, Marcel Proust, Simone Weil, and Iris Murdoch as well as her own experiences, Scarry offers up an elegant, passionate manifesto for the revival of beauty in our intellectual work as well as our homes, museums, and classrooms.

Scarry argues that our responses to beauty are perceptual events of profound significance for the individual and for society. Presenting us with a rare and exceptional opportunity to witness fairness, beauty assists us in our attention to justice. The beautiful object renders fairness, an abstract concept, concrete by making it directly available to our sensory perceptions. With its direct appeal to the senses, beauty stops us, transfixes us, fills us with a “surfeit of aliveness.” In so doing, it takes the individual away from the center of his or her self-preoccupation and thus prompts a distribution of attention outward toward others and, ultimately, she contends, toward ethical fairness.

Scarry, author of the landmark The Body in Pain and one of our bravest and most creative thinkers, offers us here philosophical critique written with clarity and conviction as well as a passionate plea that we change the way we think about beauty.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

Export citation in BibTeX format
Export text citation
View this text on PhilPapers
Export citation in Reference Manager format
Export citation in EndNote format
Export citation in Zotero format
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Plus Share on Pinterest Share by Email More options
Can’t find it?
Contribute the texts you think should be here and we’ll add them soon!