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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reach a large audience, we may suppose, but it may also have to carefully limit the aesthetic demands it places on that audience. As a result, aesthetic value probably is no predictor of social impact. Further, judged simply on the basis of their social impact, works can become both replaceable and dispensable. They are the former because another work might achieve the desired impact as well or better, and they may be the latter because there may be no reason to return to the work once the social

though integral to the work’s identity, the work fails to make those references integral to its aims. The claim made by the argument is that, where a feature contributes in an essential way to the realization of an admirable aim, the work is valued partly on the basis of this feature. If the feature happens to be some morally flawed commitment, and it is the flaw in the commitment that is essential to its making this contribution, then the work is positively valued partly on the basis of the

that is a creative response to past architecture is probably an artwork. It might be sufficient that a building be made with an ambition to aesthetic excellence, originality, or creative wrestling with earlier architecture, even if it does not achieve success. These may be some sufficient conditions, but I do not claim that they are the only ones. Is Architecture an Art Form? On this question, different considerations about art push us in different directions. One line of thought

benefits it brings. Finally, since taking satisfaction in something is itself a valuable state of affairs, when an experience is valued in this way, it is valuable, indeed, valuable for itself. 6. The source of this criticism is Carroll (2002a). Also see Carroll (2000c), and the 2001 exchange between Carroll and Stecker. 7. Carroll (2001a) has offered three replies to the above argument. First, he claims that Charles may have enjoyed the experience of the Picasso because of the

meaning, even if its meaning-determining intentions were initially transparent. However, it is reasonable to assume that some such information is always needed as works are not only public objects but also contextualized ones connected to a culture, to traditions, as well as to an individual (or group) creator. To think of a work as a public object is at best to have a partial understanding of its nature. Publicity couldn’t imply that works are self-contained modules accessible without any

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