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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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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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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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Was there support for panpsychism among the Romantic poets?

Phillip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and vocal critic of religion, is a supporter of panpsychism, the doctrine that consciousness arises because every inanimate particle actually ...
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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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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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Has there been any philosophical investigation into the role of aesthetics in mathematics?

There are many mathematicians who talk about the particular beauty of a subject. They may say a particular result is pretty. It may be beautiful. It seems to me play a fundamental role in the ...
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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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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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Does doing comparative philosophy presuposse 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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Will fundamental physics eventually become an aesthetic construction and proceed on aesthetic grounds?

Consider the following argument: Proposition 1: The language of physics (as an empirical science) is mathematics. I think this should be uncontroversial to the majority of working physicists. ...
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Why does Nietzsche say in the Antichrist that Aristotle “saw in pity a sickly and dangerous state of mind”?

In The Antichrist, Nietzsche starts with a very heavy attack on the emotion of pity, making statements like: Pity stands in opposition to all the tonic passions that augment the energy of the ...
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Is it possible to use Wittgenstein's family resemblance approach to universals 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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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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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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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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Agamben and grammatical shifters

While this collapse of metaphysics into ethics is increasingly evident as nihilism, contemporary thought has yet to escape from this condition. Agamben seeks to understand and ultimately escape this ...
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What is Nietzsche's opinion on ethical criticism of art?

Recently, I have been quite interested in the intersection of ethics and aesthetics, or to be more specific, ethical criticism of art. What would or did Nietzsche say about the following two problems?...
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Is there a philosophical term or theory that defines or describes the idea of 'epiphany'?

I am new to the philosophy stack exchange, so please let me know if I need to clarify this question further. I am curious if there is a distinction made in philosophical fields between a typical step-...
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Why do humans desire and admire beauty?

What is it that causes the human person to recognize beauty? I think its safe to say that everyone, to some extent, has experience some sort of perception of transcendent beauty. This recognition ...
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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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Does Art require an Audience?

Nietzsche consistently throughout his writings argues for a monological conception of art--art that does not seek "witnesses" or an audience. Not only did the episode with Wagner force Nietzsche to ...
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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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Are there objective criteria for aesthetic judgment?

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? What major approaches are there for the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Is there really such a thing as art?

Suppose John asks Mary to show him a piece of art, and she shows him the Mona Lisa. In doing so, Mary seems to be claiming that the Mona Lisa is a piece of art—i.e., that the Mona Lisa has (or ...
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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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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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What are some good resources on analytic aesthetics?

Always I see resources about view of continental-philosophy about aesthetics, is there any resource about view of analytic-philosophy about aesthetics? which philosopher of analytic-philosophy talks ...
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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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Does a moral act have to be necessarily beautiful?

Kant argues in his Third Critique (sec. 59) that moral uprightness and decency brings us pleasure as in a reflective, judgment of taste: Now I say that the beautiful is the symbol of the morally ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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Good Introductions to Kants Critique of Judgment

Can somebody recommend any? I have come across Wicks & Hughes so far, but I am finding it very difficult. I am also finding it incredibly difficult reading through the Critique itself. Any advice ...
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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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Will fundamental physics become an art? (That is driven solely by aesthetics)

Famously Einstein said if he had to choose between a beautiful theory and an ugly fact he'd take the theory every-time. Dirac remarked that he always followed beauty. It seems to me that aesthetic ...
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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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The aesthetic education of man; translation

Can anyone recommend a good translation of The Aesthetic Education of Man by Friedrich Schiller?
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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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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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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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What are the common responses to Heidegger's critique of aesthetics?

What are some possible problems with Martin Heidegger's critique of aesthetics, and how might one go about arguing against it? More specifically, what are some of the common arguments that have been ...
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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!