Aesthetic Value

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Westview Press, 1995 - Philosophy - 198 pages
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At the heart of aesthetics lie fundamental questions about value in art and the objectivity of aesthetic valuation. A theory of aesthetic value must explain how the properties of artworks contribute to the values derived from contemplating and appreciating works of art. When someone passes judgment on a work of art, just what is it that is happening, and how can such judgments be criticized and defended?In this concise survey, intended for advanced undergraduate students of aesthetics, Alan Goldman focuses on the question of aesthetic value, using many practical examples from painting, music, and literature to make his case. Although he treats a wide variety of views, he argues for a nonrealist view of aesthetic value, showing that the personal element can never be factored out of evaluative aesthetic judgments and explaining why this is so. At the same time, he argues for certain common effects of highly esteemed artworks.Along the way Goldman considers such key topics as interpretation, representation, expression, and taste. His text will be a valuable contribution to the teaching of aesthetics as well as to the understanding of these topics on the part of students and scholars in philosophy and the arts.

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Page 8 - It is in the ultimately satisfying exercise of these different mental capacities operating together to appreciate the rich relational properties of artworks that I shall argue the primary value of great works is to be found.
Page 181 - Leonard B. Meyer, Music, the Arts, and Ideas (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967), p. 129. 4. Don R. Cox, "Barbie and Her Playmates," Journal of Popular Culture 11 (Fall 1977): 307.
Page 191 - Siegel is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami. He is the author of Relativism Refuted: A Critique of Contemporary Epistemological Relativism (1987), Educating Reason: Rationality, Critical Thinking and Education (1988), Rationality Redeemed?
Page 151 - When we are so fully and satisfyingly involved in appreciating an artwork, we can be said to lose our ordinary, practically oriented selves in the world of the work.
Page 181 - Richard Wollheim, Painting as an Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), p. 48. Wollheim combines this seeing-in requirement with an intentional criterion. 25. Walton, Mimesis, pp. 294, 297. 26. See Christopher Peacocfce, "Depiction," Philosophical Review 96 (1987):383~410.

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About the author (1995)

Alan H. Goldman is professor of philosophy at the University of Miami. He is the author of many articles and books on ethics and epistemology, including Moral Knowledge and Empirical Knowledge. More recently, he has published important papers on aesthetics.

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