Questions tagged [aesthetics]

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

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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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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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 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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Can photography or film have its own new type of aura?

Can photography or film, according to Benjamin, have its own new type of aura, a uniqueness which allows for reproduction? This author, Silliman, suggests they cannot, because photography as art is ...
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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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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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Does contemporary art embody the desacralisation of western culture?

Its noticable that all the great artistic traditions embody their religious worldviews. From hindu temples, christian churches, greek statues of gods and heroes, egyptian sarchophagi etc. However the ...
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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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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 ...
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Can world without earth begin an artwork's strife?

In art there is: an “essential strife” between two interconnected dimensions of intelligibility (revealing and concealing) which Heidegger calls “world” and “earth” in his most famous work on ...
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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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a relationship with the other

Bourriaud somewhere says: “artistic practice is always a relationship with the other, at the same time as it represents a relationship with the world”. Does he by "with the other" mean "with ...
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Is self-expression not unique to creatives?

Often it's thought that "self-expression" is only possible in creative work and e.g. for this reason the pol. ideology communism as well as Maslow's hierarchy of needs thinks of the creative pursuits ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...