Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers
Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers
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Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers offers a comprehensive historical overview of the field of aesthetics. Eighteen specially commissioned essays introduce and explore the contributions of those philosophers who have shaped the subject, from its origins in the work of the ancient Greeks to contemporary developments in the 21st Century.
The book reconstructs the history of aesthetics, clearly illustrating the most important attempts to address such crucial issues as the nature of aesthetic judgment, the status of art, and the place of the arts within society. Ideal for undergraduate students, the book lays the necessary foundations for a complete and thorough understanding of this fascinating subject.
irrationality. In rejecting Radford’s type of conclusion, most contemporary debate has turned around two approaches, roughly: Walton’s make-believe theory, for which at least some responses to fictions have a make-believe status and the thought theory, for which emotional responses to fictional characters and events target thoughts or unasserted propositional contents, say, the thought that Desdemona is being killed by Othello (Lamarque 1981; Carroll 1990; Dadlez 1997). Recent developments have
unaware of this shift in focus between the subjective and the objective, though he will attempt its resolution in his later essay. In these early writings on the nature of beauty, Hume also makes an initial and partial attempt to spell out which formal properties in an object cause the pleasurable response that leads us to call it beautiful. Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746), Hume’s most prominent predecessor in the British tradition in aesthetics, described such form as “unity amidst variety”
participate in the satisfaction of such impulses afford a compelling starting point for rooting the production and reception of works of art—something present in all cultures—in deep, shared, but historically evolving human needs. Second, by attending to central cases of historically important art, Hegel fills in the details of his account of the historical development of art in an illuminating way. Throughout his historical survey, Hegel emphasizes that an understanding of the work—perhaps less
Schopenhauer, Philosophy and the Arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nehamas, Alexander. 1985. Nietzsche: Life as Literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Neill, Alex, and Christopher Janaway, eds. 2009. Better Consciousness: Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of Value. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Young, Julian. 1992. Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CHAPTER 8 BENEDETTO CROCE (1866–1952) AND ROBIN G. COLLINGWOOD (1889–1943) Gary Kemp What are
(reprinted in Danto 1986) but still maintained—that he takes to follow from this account of art history. Danto’s account of art history is broadly Hegelian. First, he conceives of the history of art teleologically, such that it makes sense to say that art is striving for, or progressing toward, some goal, namely, formulating the question about the nature of art in its proper philosophical form. The history of art is construed as progressive and works of art are interpreted against the backdrop of