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Questions tagged [aesthetics]

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

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Had Kant ever said anything about “Beauty is not on the rosy cheeks of a maiden”?

My "Introduction to Aesthetics" textbook (a cheap-looking book made by people of questionable credentials) claims that Immanuel Kant had said something to the effect of "Beauty doesn't lie on the rosy ...
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Aesthetically judging without concepts?

In the Second Moment of the Critique of Judgement, Kant writes about how the universality of the judgment of beauty is without concepts. I understand what he is doing here, but keep wondering whether ...
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Can art be honest?

I was watching an episode of "Penny Dreadful" (ep.04 of season 1, here's the YouTube link for the scene in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxp21dbnRnA). In this episode, Dorian Gray (the one ...
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Kant and the ornament

I am getting somewhat confused about Kant's stance about ornaments. In the Critique of Judgement, Kant seems to make a strict distinction between parergon (the add-ons to say cruely) and ergon (the ...
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Who are some (relatively) modern “platonists” with respect to aesthetics/philosophy of art?

I'm interested in discovering post-Enlightenment to contemporary thinkers who discuss art in terms of form and beauty, and imitation vs "true forms." Thanks!
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Is it ethical to try to convince someone of something without explicitly letting them know what that is?

Is it ethical or virtuous to try to convince someone of something without telling them explicitly what that is? For example, is it ethical to try to convince someone that an art work by Picasso is ...
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Do philosophers think ethics can't be based on our wishes? [closed]

Some presuppositions: Premise 1. "Wrong" means the reasoning used in an argument was flawed. Another notion of "wrong" is wrong method. Misknowledge how. Definition 2. Wishes are not produced by ...
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What do contemporay philosophers say about Hegel's aesthetics beyond interpretation?

Hegel's philosophy of art is a wide ranging account of beauty in art, the historical development of art, and the individual arts of architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry. It contains ...
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Architectural Philosophy

I am an architecture student who wants to be more than just friends with philosophy. I am looking for something that narrates forms and spaces very well. It could be metaphoric to human behavior like ...
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How can we tell when a practical philosophy practice is “philosophical” or “mystical”?

I've been thinking lately of the fact that a lot of people, many intellectuals included, pretty much dismiss of any kind of "mysticistic" practice. I'll put the general definition from Wikipedia for "...
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When can a creative work be considered to have transcended time?

When does a creative work become timeless? This thought came to me as I listened to the performances at the Alaska International Piano-e-Competition 2018. All of the competitors were spectacular. My ...
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Beauty: objective or subjective?

What makes so many philosophers believe beauty is objective?
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Philosophical Positions on the Purpose and Qualities of Art

What are some philosophical stances on art and its purpose? I know this is a broad question, but any sources or thoughts would be great. I am particularly interested in music.
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Which artistic form (Visual, Audio, Literary etc.) is the best at conveying emotion?

I have always felt that art, at least good art, is a method by which to convey emotion - to imbue part of the artists soul into something physical. What do philosophers say is the best medium to ...
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Does Danto's 'The Disenfranchisement of Art' (1984) imply that if anything can be an art then nothing is?

An ex friend claimed that if anything can be an art then nothing is, and cited the following passage as a proof: When art internalizes its own history, when it becomes self-conscious of its ...
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Nietzsche: Does visual art reaffirm life?

In the Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche states that life is justified through artistic creativity. He analyses the ancient Greek tragedies to further elaborate on his point. My question is: would his ...
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Is the value of art always contextual, or can it ever be inherent?

A few years back, I was in a modern art museum and saw this painting by Russian Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich: It seems to me that the value of this painting lies completely in the identity of ...
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Aesthetics and the unbalanced psyche

Due to the things I have been reading and observing lately, I wonder: what is the importance of an "unbalanced" psyche to the aesthetics of his/her oeuvre? The trigger of this thought was the fact ...
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Is there any “uniformity” in the arts?

By uniformity, I mean things like postulates, or presumptions. Can we talk about such a thing in the arts? For example, in poetry or literature (as of literary arts) or in visual arts? Thank you!
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Philosophical Perspectives on the Response to Landscapes

As a hiker and (very amateur) philosopher, this question is one that has resonated with me a great deal. As well as hoping to spark discussion on the topic, I'm really hoping for guidance on existing ...
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“Without the assumption of the existence of uniformities there can be no knowledge.”

So I am to discuss the question with reference to two areas of knowledge. I chose to talk about mathematics and the arts (including literature, visual arts, music, etc.). I put a lot of thought into ...
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Who (name of the science) researches meaning communicated through arts?

John I. Saeed in his famous textbook defines the Semantic as "Semantics is the study of meaning communicated through language". So - what is name for the science that researches meaning as ...
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Philosophers that would be of particular interest to engineers/designers? [closed]

Does anyone know of philosophers that would be of particular interest to mathematicians/engineers/designers ?
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In what sense does philosophy, especially aesthetics, live on, for Adorno?

The introduction to Negative Dialectics begins Philosophy, which once seemed outmoded, remains alive because the moment of its realization was missed. The summary judgement that it had merely ...
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Has any philosopher argued that the point of life is to extract art from it?

The painter poet Lewis claimed “Just Life” or soi-disant “Reality” is a fourth quantity, made up of the Past, the Future and Art. This impure Present our Vortex despises and ignores. ...
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Who has claimed that beauty is order?

Has anyone claimed that beauty is order, or anything close to that? Seems like quite a classical idea, but I don't know of any philosophers who say this.
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What is the name (and ideally some further reading) for the Aesthetics theory that a thing is beautiful if it achieves its goal?

I'm listening to a podcast lecture by Michael Grant on Aristotle's poetics. The current topic is interpretations of Aristotle's theory that pleasure is derived from 'pity and fear'. One such ...
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Philosophers who view Aesthetics as an application of other fields of Philosophy?

I'm not looking to have a debate on stackexchange about wether aesthetics is a branch in itself. However, I am looking for sources, or just recommendations of writers of aesthetics, who view ...
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What does this quote mean about Plato's Cave?

Simon Blackburn is describing the Poetic Interpretation of ascending from Plato's Cave: Part of the charm of Plato is the sense of being in a world in which these fractures did not exist. Ours may ...
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Why does Schopenhauer think aesthetic experience is the suspension of pain and desire?

In an discussion about Schopenhauer , the French philosophy teacher Christophe Salaün says: "L'expérience esthétique est la suspension momentanée de la douleur, du désir. En supprimant provisoirement ...
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How is Adorno suggesting we respond to culture?

The way in which a girl accepts and keeps the obligatory date, the inflection on the telephone or in the most intimate situation, the choice of words in con versation, and the whole inner life as ...
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Can aesthetics be poison to higher types? [closed]

If Christian ethics are poison to Nietzsche's higher types -- what about conventional aesthetics, is that a poison to them? Eliot, writing in 1928 (in the preface to the 2nd edition of The Scared Wood)...
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“Proper” and “improper” functions of objects in art

Background I am trying to describe the use of an object in a non-traditional way, and am trying to use philosophical language to talk about this. Specifically, I am describing sculptural art that ...
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Can one author be proved to be better than another?

Can we objectively say that one author is better than another? For example, could we say William Shakespeare is objectively a better author than E.L. James? If it is possible, how would we decide? ...
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Difference between zeug and art(works) for Heidegger

Why is Heidegger making a difference between 'zeug' (instruments) and a work of art? The reason that I do not understand this difference is that in my experience every object has the power to show ...
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Why did not former epochs distinguish between 'art' and 'craft'?

Source: p. 18 Middle, Beauty: A Very Short Introduction (2011) by Roger Scruton. That said, we should recognize that the distinction between aesthetic and utilitarian interests is no more clear ...
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What gives rise to the preponderance of 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's? [closed]

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are two unintelligent Danish nobles who were ultimately fooled by the protagonist and executed by the English king. Their attire, role, and tone ...
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Is this quote from Aristotle's Poetics?

Stackexchange, I remember reading someone quoting Aristotle's Poetics in saying 'Poetry (i.e. epic and drama) is what must be true, while history is what might have been true.' I don't have ...
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How to tell if a statement is normative or descriptive? (Hume aesthetics)

Would this quote by Hume be normative or descriptive? All sentiment is right; because sentiment has a reference to nothing beyond itself, and is always real, wherever a man is conscious of it.
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How does feng shui and aestethics work together?

According to Wikipedia Feng Shui is a is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. It is closely linked to Daoism... [and] is one of the Five Arts ...
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Classical philosophical texts on aesthetics [closed]

What are the best (according to most philosophers) classical philosophical texts on aesthetics? I have found several ones on the Internet, but I don't know which one to start with first.
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What are some arguments for the golden ratio making things more aesthetically pleasing?

What are some (not necessarily good) arguments that painters, architects, designers, musicians, etc. basing their work on the golden ratio φ makes their work more aesthetically pleasing? I think ...
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Do supporters of “machine creativity” necessarily support “natural creativity”?

Recently, someone asked Can computers be programmed to be creative? on Philosophy SE. The answers seem to be divided into two competing theories: If creativity is defined by the ability to create an ...
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How are these statements of truth and beauty related?

In Latin there's a phrase In vino veritas, which translated to "in wine, truth" There is also a saying that truth is beauty and beauty is truth. There's also real world observation that the more a ...
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What is the role of the art curator?

I keep seeing people talking about the increased importance of curation in art today. What is going on here, has any philosopher discussed this trend or possible problems linked to curation of art? ...
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What does poetry enact according to Heidegger?

The following idea is cited approving in a book I just read Derrida, Heidegger, Blanchot, by Timothy Clark But on an earlier page the same author says In what way can a poem be "nothing but its own ...
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What is the ontological status of a story plot?

A stage play, a movie, and a comic book can all have the same plot. And this despite being very different mediums physically, and even if they are set in completely different fictional universes. ...
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According to Adorno, does the “truth content” of art refer?

Adorno and the Political, By Espen Hammer In this negation, by truth content, is it a form of referentiality? Which may be to ask whether truth content is linguistic, in this action of negation.
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Do questions come before or after art activity?

Do questions generate art activity or only follow art activity? Most art is a form of assertion not of questioning. In thqt wiew, art is not an answer to a question, but a statement of experience. ...
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What sort of creativity do Nietzsche's higher men have?

The canonical example of a higher man is Goethe. How would his art have been better if he had appeared after Nietzsche? I assume it would entail something dionysian, perhaps a means of ...