Aesthetics A-Z (Philosophy A-Z EUP)
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Covers the key concepts, arguments, problems and figures in aesthetics and the philosophy of artThis introduction to aesthetics provides a layered treatment of both the historical background and contemporary debates in aesthetics. Extensive cross-referencing shows how issues in aesthetics intersect with other branches of philosophy and other fields that study the arts. Aesthetics A-Z is an ideal guide for newcomers to the field of aesthetics and a useful reference for more advanced students of philosophy, art history, media studies and the performing arts.
for unanticipated significations in turns of phrase, metaphors, and peculiar binary oppositions, which the author had used, in effect showing through such play of words how the author’s forthright assertion is undermined when underplayed terms inadvertently assert themselves. Deconstruction fully embodies the fundamental poststructuralist conviction that a text is, as Barthes put it, a methodological field for a ‘writerly’ response on part of the reader, which not M2356 - GUTER PRINT.indd 51
easier to present in the form of a single self-contained entry. Either way, the entries are intended to be mutually reinforcing through extensive cross-referencing. This enables one to pursue matters to different levels of detail and scope, and to make connections between different dimensions of theorizing about art and the aesthetic. The relative importance of any given subject or topic has to be appreciated against these gravitational fields. Some entries directly explain the main positions,
entries that situate the position in its historical context (for example, M2356 - GUTER PRINT.indd xii 27/09/2010 08:18 INTRODUCTION xiii Kant, Hanslick, Bell), and to entries that put the position in broader philosophical context (for example, expression, aesthetic attitude). Another type of entry deals exclusively with key figures, historical and contemporary. In the former case, such entries focus on the philosophical legacy of the figures discussed and on persisting issues and debates.
of aesthetic theory and art history typically offer re-reading of the history of art and the history of aesthetics, which is designed to flesh out the biased nature of such narratives and unearth alternative narratives, which have been hitherto suppressed by pervasive patriarchalism or homophobia. The notion of the gaze often takes center stage here. To some extent one finds also skepticism regarding the very existence of a gendered aesthetic. Finally, there is some ambivalence in gendered
representational or figurative elements in the plastic arts. When applied to music, abstraction commonly means the absence of semantic content in pure instrumental music. In the visual arts, abstraction is achieved either by gradual reduction and elimination of elements, which resemble things in the external world, by excessive use of ornamentation, or by using chance operations. Music is often said to be abstract on account of its problematic relation to extra-musical reality, although it has