Aesthetics is the study of the beautiful. It is one of the classical sub-disciplines of philosophy.

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Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's concept of family resemblance to separate high art from commercial art?

In a previous post, I asked whether it is possible to objectively compare the quality and validity of different pieces and forms of art. In the responses I got the overall response is that there is no ...
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What is the enigma of art?

I've always been fascinated by the following constellated section of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory, probably because phenomenology is intuitively easier to get to grips with than a drawn out critical ...
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Would Foucault say that every act of creativity is discursive?

Would Foucault, or indeed any philosopher, say that all forms of creative intelligence are discursive? I ask, because I am wondering, given that creative writing is in some sense impossible or ...
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Which contemporary philosophers explicitly engage with Nietzsche's statement that “God is dead”?

Which contemporary theorists, especially of art or poetry, explicitly and deliberately engage with Nietzsche's statement that "God is dead"? Obviously Nietzsche has had a huge influence on post / ...
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Why, according to Adorno, were Schoenberg's innovations progressive?

I think that Zuidervaart, in his book Adorno's aesthetic theory, says that Adorno makes two claims for artworks: They develop the productive forces of the artform The artist has a cognition of the ...
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How might aesthetics be radically Other?

I've read a handful of book by or about Levinas, but some time ago and without notes. IIRC his central ethical theme is that other people are not an aspect of the self, that our obligation to them ...
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Is it ever possible to objectively state that a piece of music or film, or a genre, is better, or more artistically valid than another?

I first found Adorno and Horkheimer's critique of pop culture in the Culture Industry very compelling. Their idea that pop culture was factory produced and induced mindless consumerism as opposed to ...
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Aesthetic judgment: Objective criteria? [closed]

How should we evaluate art? Are there objective criteria for judging whether or not artworks are good art? Should we at times appeal to moral values in assessing the quality of artwork?
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Does doing comparative philosophy mean adopting cultural-relativism?

Assuming that there are several distinct philosophical traditions - say - Western, Chinese and Indian and that philosophers can actually compare the manner certain philosophical problems were handled ...
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Defining Kant's idea of the sublime and applying it to a painting?

How would one go about applying Kant's idea of the dynamical sublime to a painting as to Kant the Dynamical sublime is: The dynamically sublime is similar. In this case, a “‘might' or power is ...
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What is an “aesthetic experience”?

So, we're doing a project in philosophy class, discussing what exactly an "aesthetic experience" is. I understand, that it is a very personal definition that everybody has, but I'm sure there are some ...
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Philosophy of Humor

I was reading Andre Breton's "Anthology of Black Humor" and I found in one of the introductory notes a report addressing the theme of humor by Hegel. I think it is related to the treatment of comedy ...
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aesthetic meaning ‘I breathe in’ and ‘I gasp’ [closed]

How can "aesthetic" meaning "I breathe in" and "I gasp" have any relation to what the writer has explained below? Context: Indeed, the solving of a perceptual conundrum brings its own reward, and we ...
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Philosophy and the arts in the romantic era

Has the relation between philosophy and the arts (especially poetry) changed at all since the romantic era?
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“To experience person to person – artist to viewer – a shared sensation”

What does the second half of this paragraph mean? In viewing art, we recognise that we are not alone, confined by our mental and physical boundaries. We merge into a collective consciousness. Of ...
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Why did Adorno hate the movies

Adorno stated: Every visit to the cinema, despite the utmost watchfulness, leaves me dumber and worse than before. Minima Moralia 5
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Nietzsche's perspective in Philosophy of Art

What is the meaning of the pair Apollonian and Dionysian in Nietzsche's philosophy of art? In which work does Nietzsche expand his view?
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What is the difference between an opinion and a philosophical opinion? [closed]

What is the difference between an opinion and a philosophical position? If there is more than one philosophical position that is not obliterated easily by sniff sniff logic, how can that be the case? ...
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Does all art have a sentiment?

It occurred to me that when e.g. reading poetry, I attach a lot of significance to a kind of sentiment. It seems independent of how genteel the work is. I am interested in finding a way of thinking ...
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Are aesthetic judgments rational?

I was reading this article: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aesthetic-judgment/#1.4 I was thinking that aesthetic judgments are responses that derive from our emotions. So they can be considered ...
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For Kant, how is pleasure in beauty disinterested?

Kant states that pleasure in beauty is not based on desire and does not produce any. But don't we usually have a desire to have things that are beautiful in our lives? Such as "this car is beautiful! ...
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How to know if one has aesthetic observation “artist-eye”? [closed]

If I am going to start learning design, I am going to ask this question first - "What is design?" But the search for the answer leads directly into philosophical statements and arguments. I am lost ...
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Are there universally agreed masterpieces of art? [closed]

What do you consider examples of great art? I would enjoy to hear your proposal for two examples from each genre literature music painting sculpture. If you don't mind, please indicate in which ...
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How can one measure the quality of art?

In art (music, painting, etc.), is it meaningful to say that this piece is better than this one? I can understand somebody saying "I have more feelings, I'm more touched when I listen to this song ...
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Which scholars argue that for art to be art, it must be for art's sake?

I understand this is partially supported by Nietzsche, but do others agree or adamantly disagree with this position? If so who?
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Is Realism an Aristotelian middle term?

Plato declared art as the art of imitation; in drama, Aristotle distinguishes tragedy and satire as high and low forms respectively it presents the problem of life, in tragedy, better or higher, that ...
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What would the situationists think of this rule?

Do what one will to maximize ones own sense of overcoming mundane life. I understand their ideas about the situation were meant to prod people out of their mundane lives. The situation being, IIRC, ...
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Do we dress for other people or ourselves? [closed]

This leads to a larger question about ego and ambition, but to keep it simple... A lot of people dress to look good in front of people, so they choose items they think will look good. Other people ...
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What if the tallest height is considered the most beautiful? [closed]

What if some people defined the tallest height is considered the most beautiful? Some philosopher claimed that the most beautiful human doesn't exist. Can there be any "most beautiful" human?
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Why did Bertrand Russell say “art is anarchic and resistant to organization?”

The following is a quote by Bertrand Russell: Unavoidably, although the Government favours art as much as it can, the atmosphere is one in which art cannot flourish, because art is anarchic and ...
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Can mathematics be sublime?

The Sublime is sometime used as a synonym for subtle or sophisticated but with aesthetic overtones. In the original setting for this aesthetic notion it was a combination of Beauty & Greatness, ...
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What are some good resources for the aesthetics of mathematics?

Many mathematicians often equate mathematics to art and find a deep beauty in its method, results, and ideas. The classic example of this romanticism is captured by G.H. Hardy's A Mathematician's ...
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Autobiography of Roger Scruton?

The current Wikipedia article on English philosopher Roger Scruton (who specializes in aesthetics) makes reference to an autobiography without citing further details: In May 1968, the French ...
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What is meant by the field of Dharma in the Bhagavad Gita?

The Mahabharata is an Indo-Aryan epic about the dynastic struggle by Pandavas & the Kauravas for the throne of the Kingdom of the Kuru, held by Dhtrarastra, the blind king of the Kauravas. The ...
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Is post-modernity liminal?

Liminality (from the Latin Limen, meaning threshold) is a technical term deployed in Anthropology describing the ambiguity and disorientation which occurs in rites of passage from an 'earlier' life to ...
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Is Rilke an existentialist?

This isn't really an aesthetics question, but a question of interpreting a poem philosophically; a kind of philosophical hermeneutics of poetry; Rilke is well-known as a metaphysical poet. Towards ...
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How can Beauty equal Terror?

Rilke, the German poet, whilst staying at Duino castle near Trieste on the Adriatic sea heard the first words of what he later called the Duino Elegies whilst walking on the cliffs . They are both ...
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Who does Wil Wheaton represent in “Big Bang Theory”?

Following the aesthetics-challenge my first question on this site: In several episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" Wil Wheaton appears. In the credits it is stated that he plays "himself". But I have ...
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Can anyone explain the very beginning of The Analysis of Matter to me?

Can anyone explain the very beginning of The Analysis of Matter to me? What exactly is it that he is saying is an aesthetic choice with respect to physics? I just opened up the book and can't get ...
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Word and image (in poetry)

A 2011 book on conceptual poetry titled conceptualisms claims Note: there is no aesthetic or ethical distinction between word and image. They seem to define "images" as what manifest to create ...
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What are some good books that introduce aesthetics?

I'm an aspiring composer and painter, and I think it's really interesting how artists and philosophers have worked towards understanding art. My first question is whether or not aesthetics is ...
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What are some commonly accepted theories of aesthetics?

What are the commonly accepted theories of aesthetics? Other than Kant, I haven't read much work on the topic, so I wouldn't mind hearing suggestions of contemporary works on aesthetics.
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Should people feel bad when the laugh at the misfortunes of others?

Aristotle wrote, As for Comedy, it is an imitation of men worse than the average; worse, however, not as regards any and every sort of fault, but only as regards one particular kind, the Ridiculous, ...
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Can mathematics be political?

The Liverpool Tate have an exhibition currently running that discusses the dialectic between politics and art - the situationists, Bertolt Brecht and earlier the patronage of the court. Mathematics, ...
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What did Hardy mean by “ugly mathematics”?

The following quote is attributed to G.H. Hardy, a British mathematician: The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, ...
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Can computers be programmed to be 'creative'?

When a artist strokes their brush on a canvas and paints a beautiful work of art they may be referred as creative person. Or perhaps a musician or a writer. Does this creativeness come from the soul ...
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What is philsosophy when it is sutured to Music?

In Badious philosophy, he has considers that Poltics, Art, Science & Love to be four truth-procedures, and that Philosophy is suspended from the other three; but it can be sutured to them too. ...
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Is trance music cathartic?

I've been thinking about catharsis (in the sense used in aesthetics) and I'm trying to feel out the edges of its accepted application. Trance music is often described using words such as "euphoric" ...
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Does Hegel's Schematization of Art Still Work?

Upon study of G.W.F. Hegel's two volume work Lectures on Fine Art he presents a schema of the arts based on the external and internal relations of the Idea in its dialectic mode of expression. Of ...
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Was Ayn Rand affected by Italian Futurism?

Italian Futurism was an art movement in early 20th century Italy which celebrated youth, violence & technology: Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially ...