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Andrew Scott
Andrew Scott

Tatarkiewicz History Of Aesthetics Pdf 38

Aesthetics (also esthetics in American English), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics).[1] It examines aesthetic values, often expressed through judgments of taste.[2]

Tatarkiewicz History Of Aesthetics Pdf 38

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Aesthetics covers both natural and artificial sources of experiences and how we form a judgment about those sources. It considers what happens in our minds when we engage with objects or environments such as viewing visual art, listening to music, reading poetry, experiencing a play, watching a fashion show, movie, sports or even exploring various aspects of nature. The philosophy of art specifically studies how artists imagine, create, and perform works of art, as well as how people use, enjoy, and criticize art. Aesthetics considers why people like some works of art and not others, as well as how art can affect moods or even our beliefs.[3] Both aesthetics and the philosophy of art try to find answers for what exactly is art, artwork, or what makes a good art.

Scholars in the field have defined aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature".[4][5] In modern English, the term "aesthetic" can also refer to a set of principles underlying the works of a particular art movement or theory (one speaks, for example, of a Renaissance aesthetic).[6]

The term aesthetics was appropriated and coined with new meaning by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten in his dissertation Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus (English: "Philosophical considerations of some matters pertaining the poem") in 1735;[9] Baumgarten chose "aesthetics" because he wished to emphasize the experience of art as a means of knowing. Baumgarten's definition of aesthetics in the fragment Aesthetica (1750) is occasionally considered the first definition of modern aesthetics.[10]

Some separate aesthetics and the philosophy of art, claiming that the former is the study of beauty and taste while the latter is the study of works of art. But aesthetics typically considers questions of beauty as well as of art. It examines topics such as art works, aesthetic experience, and aesthetic judgments.[14] Some consider aesthetics to be a synonym for the philosophy of art since Hegel, while others insist that there is a significant distinction between these closely related fields. In practice, aesthetic judgement refers to the sensory contemplation or appreciation of an object (not necessarily a work of art), while artistic judgement refers to the recognition, appreciation or criticism of art or an art work.

Philosophical aesthetics must not only speak about and judge art and art works but also define art. A common point of disagreement concerns whether art is independent of any moral or political purpose.

Viewer interpretations of beauty may on occasion be observed to possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste. Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of an education process and awareness of elite cultural values learned through exposure to mass culture. Bourdieu examined how the elite in society define the aesthetic values like taste and how varying levels of exposure to these values can result in variations by class, cultural background, and education.[17] According to Kant, beauty is subjective and universal; thus certain things are beautiful to everyone.[18] In the opinion of Władysław Tatarkiewicz, there are six conditions for the presentation of art: beauty, form, representation, reproduction of reality, artistic expression and innovation. However, one may not be able to pin down these qualities in a work of art.[19]

Aesthetic judgments can often be very fine-grained and internally contradictory. Likewise aesthetic judgments seem often to be at least partly intellectual and interpretative. What a thing means or symbolizes is often what is being judged. Modern aestheticians have asserted that will and desire were almost dormant in aesthetic experience, yet preference and choice have seemed important aesthetics to some 20th-century thinkers. The point is already made by Hume, but see Mary Mothersill, "Beauty and the Critic's Judgment", in The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics, 2004. Thus aesthetic judgments might be seen to be based on the senses, emotions, intellectual opinions, will, desires, culture, preferences, values, subconscious behaviour, conscious decision, training, instinct, sociological institutions, or some complex combination of these, depending on exactly which theory is employed.

A third major topic in the study of aesthetic judgments is how they are unified across art forms. For instance, the source of a painting's beauty has a different character to that of beautiful music, suggesting their aesthetics differ in kind.[26] The distinct inability of language to express aesthetic judgment and the role of Social construction further cloud this issue.

Beauty is one of the main subjects of aesthetics, together with art and taste.[32][33] Many of its definitions include the idea that an object is beautiful if perceiving it is accompanied by aesthetic pleasure. Among the examples of beautiful objects are landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art. Beauty is a positive aesthetic value that contrasts with ugliness as its negative counterpart.[34]

A large number of derivative forms of aesthetics have developed as contemporary and transitory forms of inquiry associated with the field of aesthetics which include the post-modern, psychoanalytic, scientific, and mathematical among others.

Early-twentieth-century artists, poets and composers challenged existing notions of beauty, broadening the scope of art and aesthetics. In 1941, Eli Siegel, American philosopher and poet, founded Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy that reality itself is aesthetic, and that "The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites."[44][45]

Various attempts have been made to define Post-Modern Aesthetics. The challenge to the assumption that beauty was central to art and aesthetics, thought to be original, is actually continuous with older aesthetic theory; Aristotle was the first in the Western tradition to classify "beauty" into types as in his theory of drama, and Kant made a distinction between beauty and the sublime. What was new was a refusal to credit the higher status of certain types, where the taxonomy implied a preference for tragedy and the sublime to comedy and the Rococo.

Croce suggested that "expression" is central in the way that beauty was once thought to be central. George Dickie suggested that the sociological institutions of the art world were the glue binding art and sensibility into unities.[46] Marshall McLuhan suggested that art always functions as a "counter-environment" designed to make visible what is usually invisible about a society.[47] Theodor Adorno felt that aesthetics could not proceed without confronting the role of the culture industry in the commodification of art and aesthetic experience. Hal Foster attempted to portray the reaction against beauty and Modernist art in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Arthur Danto has described this reaction as "kalliphobia" (after the Greek word for beauty, κάλλος kallos).[48] André Malraux explains that the notion of beauty was connected to a particular conception of art that arose with the Renaissance and was still dominant in the eighteenth century (but was supplanted later). The discipline of aesthetics, which originated in the eighteenth century, mistook this transient state of affairs for a revelation of the permanent nature of art.[49] Brian Massumi suggests to reconsider beauty following the aesthetical thought in the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari.[50] Walter Benjamin echoed Malraux in believing aesthetics was a comparatively recent invention, a view proven wrong in the late 1970s, when Abraham Moles and Frieder Nake analyzed links between beauty, information processing, and information theory. Denis Dutton in "The Art Instinct" also proposed that an aesthetic sense was a vital evolutionary factor.

Sigmund Freud inaugurated aesthetical thinking in Psychoanalysis mainly via the "Uncanny" as aesthetical affect.[53] Following Freud and Merleau-Ponty,[54] Jacques Lacan theorized aesthetics in terms of sublimation and the Thing.[55]

The field of experimental aesthetics was founded by Gustav Theodor Fechner in the 19th century. Experimental aesthetics in these times had been characterized by a subject-based, inductive approach. The analysis of individual experience and behaviour based on experimental methods is a central part of experimental aesthetics. In particular, the perception of works of art,[56] music, or modern items such as websites[57] or other IT products[58] is studied. Experimental aesthetics is strongly oriented towards the natural sciences. Modern approaches mostly come from the fields of cognitive psychology (aesthetic cognitivism) or neuroscience (neuroaesthetics[59]).

Mathematical considerations, such as symmetry and complexity, are used for analysis in theoretical aesthetics. This is different from the aesthetic considerations of applied aesthetics used in the study of mathematical beauty. Aesthetic considerations such as symmetry and simplicity are used in areas of philosophy, such as ethics and theoretical physics and cosmology to define truth, outside of empirical considerations. Beauty and Truth have been argued to be nearly synonymous,[70] as reflected in the statement "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" in the poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats, or by the Hindu motto "Satyam Shivam Sundaram" (Satya (Truth) is Shiva (God), and Shiva is Sundaram (Beautiful)). The fact that judgments of beauty and judgments of truth both are influenced by processing fluency, which is the ease with which information can be processed, has been presented as an explanation for why beauty is sometimes equated with truth.[71] Recent research found that people use beauty as an indication for truth in mathematical pattern tasks.[72] However, scientists including the mathematician David Orrell[73] and physicist Marcelo Gleiser[74] have argued that the emphasis on aesthetic criteria such as symmetry is equally capable of leading scientists astray.


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