Questions tagged [aesthetics]

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

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Can moral theories be "elegant" or beautiful or sublime?

It is often said that mathematics has some (peculiar) sort of beauty to its name. Whether beauty attaches as such primarily to the notation/style of mathematical writing, or to the interplay of the ...
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Does Kant implicitly (or maybe even explicitly?) hold to a propositional-operator gloss of aesthetics?

Now sometimes it is said that knowledge is primarily knowledge-that, i.e. some elementary epistemic operator is a propositional operator/"attitude report". Or at least there is an invoked ...
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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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Can art be rated objectively?

I know this question possibly have been asked multiple times am really sorry, but this maybe is a little different. Art as we know is a simple one way humans express themselves. Using imagination and ...
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Is courage the victory of the beautiful over the sublime?

Assumption behind the question: Kant variously divided the aesthetic types into two or three: the agreeable, the beautiful, and the sublime. Somewhere (in the SEP or IEP, I don't remember), I was ...
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How much knowledge is based in aesthetic virtues like 'elegance'?

How much knowledge is based in aesthetic virtues like 'elegance'? I know that they feature in e.g. inference to the best explanation. What about 'intuition'? When is it ever the deciding factor in ...
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Would sublime landscapes give Coleridge "humble feelings" or "sublime feelings"?

Lately I've been reading and rereading The Abolition of Man, by C. S. Lewis. He opens by discussing "the well-known story of Coleridge at the waterfall" and the way that an English textbook ...
3 votes
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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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Is art a form of communication?

I recently got into a discussion where the other person claimed that art is a form of communication. Bearing in mind that the definition of art is disputed, did any philosophers argue that a work ...
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Isn't "modern art" kind of discriminating?

Let's say we have a person who likes to draw. He does it for some time and considers himself "doing art". But all people can draw, everyone has been drawing something in childhood or later ...
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Is the evaluation of art's subjectivity wrong? and what is the goal behind our interpretations of art?

if art is subjective wouldn't that will make it a tatuology? Can The statemente"I like X more than Y, therefore X is better than Y be considered a tautological argument? because it equates repeat ...
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Arguments for philistinism?

Friend of mine got into The Magic Mountain. Me, I was too busy welding rocks and other such worldly things, closest I get to literature is writing "[insert something witty here]," keeping ...
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Can anyone suggest a reading list for perspectives on aesthetics, specifically two dimensional visual art?

Can anyone suggest a reading list for perspectives on aesthetics, particularly visual art? I am interested in the critical interpretation of specifically two dimensional drawing and painting through ...
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What does "giving rule to art" means?

"Genius is the talent that gives the rule to art", says Kant, what does "giving rule to art" means?
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Good introductory books on the philosophy of art

I’ve been reading around a bit on the function of art and found several: aesthetic expression (Wilde the preface to a picture of Dorian Grey), self-exploration, social commentary, moral values (...
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What is "high art"? [closed]

Does the difference with low art still matter, and is high art not merely socially sanctioned by class but superior to low art, to the extent of the latter being an embarrassing mistake? Feel free to ...
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What meta-ethics is most commonly associated with 'hard determinism'?

Since moral responsibility seems to require free will, hard determinism implies that people are not morally responsible for their actions. So what exactly does that imply about supposed moral ...
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What did Nietzsche mean by monsters and the abyss?

What do you think Nietzsche meant by "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you." (...
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Is 'analytic' opposed to 'synthesis', as universal rather than traditional?

I'm reading a book on Russian theatre and it mentions a similarity in intent... [to] the work of the cubists... intention was both analytic and synthetic... both the investigation of the universal ...
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Can AI make aesthetic judgments?

I'm guessing AI could maybe be used to determine the simplest solution, and I think it can clearly be used to check when a proof works. But can AI make aesthetic judgments? If so, then it may well end ...
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Is mathematics an art?

I'm thinking of art in the traditional sense as visual, musical or literary. Mathematics certainly requires technique, and hence one can say craftmanship. But whereas the production of an art (at ...
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Are fairytales Immoral?

Disney and other prominent movie production studios are making a genre out of remakes of classical fairytales, like Little Mermaid or Peter Pan. The goal is to take on broader cultural contexts and ...
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Does an aesthetic dichotomy between universalism and relativism occur widely cross-culturally?

Roughly speaking, there appears to be a recurrent attitude some people have about what intrinsically separates “good art” from some intrinsically held reason some art is not good. We can imagine such ...
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is there a principled distinction between ethics and esthetics?

Judgments of good and judgments of beauty have a lot in common. In both cases, there is no generally agreed objective yardstick yet people who make the judgments often seem to believe that the ...
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Is physical attractiveness subjective? [closed]

At one level, it seems obviously the case that this is true. Yet clearly, there are people who exist that most would call attractive and others who most would call not. So, how is the question of ...
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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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Can the product of creativity always be classified as analogy?

Without concepts there can be no thought, and without analogies there can be no concepts. —Hofstadter and Sander Part of the creative process of a sculpter is to visualize a shape within a stone and ...
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Identification of light with existence and darkness with non-existence [closed]

Is it true that in ancient times many thinkers identified light with existence (essence), and darkness with non-existence? Examples include Pythagoreanism, Neoplatonism, the ontology of light as-...
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Does Endgame make sense?

I believe that Beckett's Endgame is meant to be the epitome of meaningless literature. Some seem to think that the critical theorist Adorno thinks that art is a meaningless brand that shows itself to ...
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Authenticity in art

I know the question some how tricky if not even boring, but the other day during a conference about Guido Reni and Caravaggio’s Saint Peter a group of scholars were discussing if a philological ...
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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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Philosophy of storytelling from non-western cultures

In the west, most of our thoughts on storytelling seem to originate and be influenced by Aristotle's Poetics, in one form or another. However, it seems that in other cultures storytelling is often ...
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Are artworks created or discovered?

I am trying to deny Joseph Margolis' argument that pieces of art are not 'universals'. Particularly, I want to say that types (in the tokens-of-a-type sense) are essentially the same thing as ...
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Is beauty a basic human need?

Did any philosopher argue that beauty is a basic human need? By "beauty" (pulchritudo) I mean, as St. Thomas Aquinas defines it ([II-II q. 145 a. 2][4] co.), that which results from the ...
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Why is literature a problem for aesthetic formalism?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy claims literature is a problem for aesthetic formalism (which says aesthetic value comprises perceptual properties): Suppose you praise a short story for the ...
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Why does Nietzsche affirm excellence so much?

A recurring theme in Nietzsche's writings seems to be that humans should strive for excellence “the highest power and splendor possible to the type man”. Im just wondering what it is about excellence ...
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What were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was interested in?

I have read most of the books by Albert Camus thoroughly. I know that Camus' theory is absurdity but I want to know his take on morality. I mean, what were the moral and aesthetic ideas that Camus was ...
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What does Heidegger mean "the closedness of earth"?

What does Heidegger mean "the closedness of earth" in 'the origin of the work of art' aka 'Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes'?
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Philosophy and stand-up comedy

Stand-up comedians - such as Doug Stanhope, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Sarah Silverman, Ricky Gervais, Amy Schumer and Bill Burr - frequently work in a philosophical realm, in that they reflect upon ...
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How does aesthetic relate to structure?

If we are to take a subject say mathematics, then often mathematicians may attribute to the well defined structure and precision in describing its theories. I believe there are also other things like ...
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Is it the content or the source of an obligation that determines whether it is moral or aesthetic?

Is it the content or the source of an obligation that determines whether it is moral or aesthetic? Consider the following statement reflecting a perceived obligation: "I must save the beautiful ...
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Is Architecture a Language?

I am puzzling over this question awhile, and I can’t find any good, clear reference on the topic without going way to deep into linguistics and getting too abstract. Can anybody explain to me if ...
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Are "aesthetic experiences" limited to art and music?

I was wondering whether philosophers consider aesthetic experiences to be something that permeate through a range of day to day experiences or if they're limited to art. For example, can learning/...
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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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What does "Normative" Mean?

I was reading the SEP articles on aesthetic judgment and had a really hard time understanding some parts. What it came down to is that they were using a definition of 'normative' I did not know. The ...
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What in mathematics has the property of beauty?

I might or might not be at an impasse in my writing... I have around 200 pages of notes, and I finally sat down and tried to compile some of the material, but I feel like the presentation is off ...
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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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Why in the academic fields of art and design, the philosophy taught or mentioned is often Continental philosophy?

Is there any rationale to prefer, in academic fields of art, Continental philosophy over Analytic philosophy? I guess there might be a historical reason why philosophy evolved into two approaches but ...
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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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Where does Nietzsche state that destruction is necessary to creation?

I've read somewhere that Nietzsche argues that destruction is always necessary in order to create, I think that the reference was to "thus spoke Zarathustra" but I couldn't find it myself. ...