Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Philosophy of the Arts - An Introduction to Aesthetics

Only just started reading this but had to return it already - grrr. My interpretations:

Art and Beauty
Aesthetic judgement is:

1. not a judgement of fact because it is subjective.
2. It is not merely subjective because it commands the assent of others - in declaring an object to be beautiful, we think we have a reason for demanding a similar delight from everyone.
3. not a judgement grounded in practical rationality because the beautiful has no practical purpose.
4. not merely fanciful or superficially attractive because it has the mark of purposefulness.

So what sort of judgement is it? Kant - 'free play of the imagination'. 'Purposefulness without purpose'.

Art and Emotion
Art is not physical, utilitarian, moral or productive of knowledge - so what is the benefit? If artistic images are not constrained by external reality, practical value or moral purpose, what makes them more than idle fancies? Answer - properly artistic images are 'symbols'. 'Intense feeling is what confers upon art the ethereal lightness of the symbol'. Art is symbolic expressions of feeling. (Croce).

Difficult for me to engage in this text without enormous brain power! - to be continued....

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