What art is: the esthetic theory of Ayn Rand

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Open Court, 2000 - Art - 523 pages
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What is art? The arts establishment has a simple answer: anything is art if a reputed artist or expert says it is. Though many people are skeptical about the alleged new art forms that have proliferated since the early twentieth century, today's critics claim that all such work, however incomprehensible, is art. A groundbreaking alternative to this view is provided by philosopher- novelist Ayn Rand, who created an original and illuminating theory of art--one which confirms the widespread view that much of today's purported art is really not art at all. In What Art Is, Torres and Kamhi present a lucid introduction to Rand's esthetic theory, contrasting her ideas with those of other thinkers. They conclude that, in its basic principles, her account is compelling, and is corroborated by evidence from anthropology, neurology, cognitive science, and psychology. The authors apply Rand's theory to a debunking of the work of prominent modernists and postmodernists--from Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, and Samuel Beckett to John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and others. Finally, they explore the implications of Rand's ideas for the issues of government and corporate support of the arts, art law, and arts education.

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Review: What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand

User Review  - Apryl Anderson - Goodreads

Baahhh!!! I expected a collection of Ayn Rand's writing, not a couple of people's impressions of what she wrote or might have thought. Let me figure it out for myself, thank-you! I give 1-star for an ... Read full review


Ayn Rands Philosophy of
Philosophy and Sense of Life
Art and Sense of Life

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About the author (2000)

Torres is an independent scholar and critic.

Kamhi is an independent scholar and critic.