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.

Art and Aesthetics after Adorno

What is Literature?

Figures of Simplicity: Sensation and Thinking in Kleist and Melville (SUNY series, Intersections: Philosophy and Critical Theory)

The Practices of the Enlightenment: Aesthetics, Authorship, and the Public (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

Art and Aesthetics after Adorno


















Like the mirror, the photo is a device for seeing what cannot be seen directly. Like a window or mirror, a photograph is transparent to its subject. Walton’s transparency thesis has the important implication that it makes photographs – and films, which involve a series of photographs – essentially different from drawings, paintings, and all other non-photographic picturing. Photographs provide “visual experiences which do not depend on the picture-maker’s beliefs in the way that paintings do”

a strong version of the view that we should value art for what it teaches. She proposes that literature is uniquely suited to teach us ethical lessons, because “certain truths about human life can only be fittingly and accurately stated in the language and forms characteristic of the narrative artist” (Nussbaum 1992: 5). All Quiet on the Western Front and M*A*S*H were novels before they were adapted as screenplays. Nussbaum’s position entails that, with respect to ethical enlightenment, the

and A. Edgar), pp. 133–54. Oxford University Press. ____(1998b [1742]) “The Sceptic,” in Selected Essays (ed. S. Copley and A. Edgar), pp. 95–112. Oxford University Press. Irwin, W. (2007) “Philosophy as/and/of Popular Culture,” in Irwin and Gracia 2007: 41–63. Irwin, W. and Gracia, J. J. E. (eds.) (2007) Philosophy and the Interpretation of Pop Culture. Rowman and Littlefield. Iseminger, G. (2004) The Aesthetic Function of Art. Cornell University Press. James, H. (1983) Novels, 1871–1880.

points to the miniature Japanese karesansui garden on her desk (a “dry” garden containing sand and rocks). Three smooth rocks rest on white sand that has been raked into neat furrows. “That’s peaceful,” she says. Then she removes the three rocks and shakes the tray until the sand is completely smooth. “That’s serene.” Since peace and serenity are not literally present here, the exemplification of peace and serenity depend on thinking of the sand as something other than sand, so that the literal

Levinson’s meta-response only happens when someone asks how some-thing promotes a first-order response. A person who is not aware of why they admire an appearance does not make an aesthetic judgment. Suppose two people take pleasure in the sensory appearance of a non-representational sculpture. One person simply likes its color. The second person attends to and appreciates the artistic choices that were involved in creating its form, texture, and color. In this situation, only the second person

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