Introducing Aesthetics

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Medical - 170 pages


This concise yet comprehensive introduction to the discipline of western aesthetical philosophy is focused directly on the central questions of aesthetics. Fenner arranges his analysis around four general themes--Experiences, Objects and Events, Meaning, and Judgment--that progress from issues of everyday experience to subjects of greater subtlety. Within these broader themes, Fenner explores such issues as The Aesthetic Attitude, Defining Art, and Reviewing Art Criticism.

Although a historical organization is employed wherever a particular movement unfolds from earlier movements, the text's main organization is not motivated by an academic or historical treatment of the various topics. Instead, the topics themselves are of primary concern, in such a way that readers will come away with a complete overview of the canon of this highly significant area of western philosophy.

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Contents

Introduction
1
EXPERIENCES
5
The Aesthetic Experience
7
The Aesthetic Attitude
15
Recent Views
23
OBJECTS AND EVENTS
31
The Aesthetic Object
33
Defining Art
37
Creations and Recreations
75
MEANING
83
Interpreting Art
85
Censoring Art
93
JUDGMENT
99
Defining Beauty
101
Formalism
105
Subjectivism
114

Imitation and RepresentationThe Ancient Greek View
41
Romanticism
47
Expressionism
52
Formalism
60
Antiessentialism
65
The Artworld
69
Naturalism
123
Reviewing Art and Art Criticism
129
An Outline of the History of Western Aesthetics
139
Bibliography
161
Index
167
Copyright

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Page 143 - Every work of art has also a certain end or purpose for which it is calculated, and is to be deemed more or less perfect as it is more or less fitted to attain this end.
Page 151 - To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling — this is the activity of art.
Page 143 - But though all the general rules of art are founded only on experience, and on the observation of the common sentiments of human nature, we must not imagine, that, on every occasion, the feelings of men will be conformable to these rules.
Page 143 - It appears, then, that, amidst all the variety and caprice of taste, there are certain general principles of approbation or blame, whose influence a careful eye may trace in all operations of the mind.
Page 151 - Art is a human activity, consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings, and also experience them.
Page 151 - In order to define art correctly it is necessary first of all to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and to consider it as one of the conditions of human life. Viewing it in this way we cannot fail to observe that art is one of the means of intercourse between man and man.
Page 143 - ... calculated ; and is to be deemed more or less perfect, as it is more or less fitted to attain this end. The object of eloquence is to persuade, of history to instruct, of poetry to please, by means of the passions and the imagination. These ends we must carry constantly in our view when we peruse any performance ; and we must be able to judge how far the means employed are adapted to their respective purposes.
Page 12 - ... discovery. A sense of actively exercising constructive powers of the mind, of being challenged by a variety of potentially conflicting stimuli to try to make them cohere; a keyed-up state amounting to exhilaration in seeing connections between percepts and between meanings, a sense (which may be illusory) of intelligibility. 5. Wholeness. A sense of integration as a person, of being restored to wholeness from distracting and disruptive influences (but by inclusive synthesis as well as by exclusion),...
Page 155 - Be that as it may, the point is that, either from want of skill or want of will, primitives neither create illusions, nor make display of extravagant accomplishment, but concentrate their energies on the one thing needful — the creation of form. Thus have they created the finest works of art that we possess.
Page 12 - ... 1 . Object directedness. A willingly accepted guidance over the succession of one's states by phenomenally objective properties (qualities and relations) of a perceptual or intentional field on which attention is fixed with a feeling that things are working or have worked themselves out fittingly. 2. Felt freedom. A sense of release from the dominance of some antecedent concerns about past and future, a relaxation and sense of harmony with what is presented or semantically invoked by it or implicitly...

About the author (2003)

DAVID E.W. FENNER teaches philosophy at the University of North Florida. He is the author of The Aesthetic Attitude and the editor of Ethics and the Arts and Ethics in Education.

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