Contemplating Art: Essays in Aesthetics

Contemplating Art: Essays in Aesthetics

Jerrold Levinson

Language: English

Pages: 432


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Contemplating Art is a compendium of writings from the last ten years by one of the leading figures in aesthetics, Jerrold Levinson. The twenty-four essays range over issues in general aesthetics and those relating to specific arts--in particular music, film, and literature. It will appeal not only to philosophers but also to musicologists, literary theorists, art critics, and reflective lovers of the arts.

The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood (Directors' Cuts)

Music at the Limits

Metamagical Themas: Questing For The Essence Of Mind And Pattern

The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design

Breve historia y antología de la estética

The Cinema of Takeshi Kitano: Flowering Blood (Directors' Cuts)













psychology, has in the past thirty years or so revolved around an opposition between feeling (or sensation) based, and thought (or cognition) based, approaches. The former holds that at the core of an emotion is an internal feeling or set of sensations, while the latter holds that at its core an emotion is a particular kind of thought, judgment, or evaluation. While the feeling approach has trouble accommodating the intentionality (or objectdirectedness) and amenability to reason of many

to the visual arts. ‘Wollheim on Pictorial Representation’ was written as a contribution to a symposium in honor of the distinguished aesthetician Richard Wollheim, and begins with a sympathetic summary of his highly influential account of depiction in terms of the successfully realized intention that viewers have a certain sort of seeing-in experience faced with a picture depicting a given subject. While agreeing with the basic thrust of Wollheim’s account, which makes a certain sort of visual

making-fictional criterion, these can be accommodated as well. Eventually, though, I turn to films containing nondiegetic music that is not, by that criterion or any other, reasonably construed as narrative. The music in such films instead serves other sorts of artistic function, ones attributable directly, I will argue, to implied filmmakers. One of the least ambiguous narrative uses of soundtrack music in mainstream film occurs in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster, Jaws. I have in mind the ‘shark’

from the implied filmmaker? That is to say, is it fictional that Thornhill is not truly in peril, or at least that the narrator knows he is not? Or is it rather that Hitchcock is telling us, on the sly, 172 Music that he does not intend to do away with his main character at this point? It is hard to say which, but in a film whose borderline self-conscious or modernist character has often been remarked, this is perhaps not surprising.⁴¹ Most of the music in Peter Weir’s Witness, composed by

Experiences often have no unequivocal beginning and ending points. They characteristically do not start up with the sharpness of a pistol crack, nor do they characteristically close with a full stop. Many experiences have indeterminate beginnings, and take shape slowly. Often, rather than ceasing abruptly, they simply fail to continue developing or ramifying, though exactly where and when may remain elusive. This blurriness-around-the-edges is evident enough with traumatic experiences, such as

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