Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2016-11-16
  • Publisher: Routledge

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For courses in the Philosophy of ART. Unlike traditional Philosophy of Art anthologies, AESTHETICS, 3/e gives special attention to popular arts as well as the "fine arts". It divides articles into sections according to specific arts, while also providing sections on classical and contemporary sources -- appealing to teachers in various disciplines. As with every subsequent edition, this book brings together readings in continental and analytic philosophy. It also contains helpful introductions by the editors for each section, as well as a variety of art selections that provide instructors with plenty of options and opportunities to enliven their courses.,

Author Biography

In This Section:


I. Author Bio

II. Author Letter




I. Author Bio


David Goldblatt and Lee B. Brown introduce students to philosophy of the arts using classic and contemporary works of leading philosophers. Their unique collection of 90 readings provide students with a broad perspective of philosophical thinking about the individual arts, including painting, photography, film, architecture, music, dance, literature, performance, and popular art. Of note are the works of Plato, Aristotle, Burke, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Heidegger, Benjamin, and Adorno.



II. Author Letter


Dear Colleagues,


The new third edition of Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts contains 100 excerpts, articles and original essays in over 600 pages. Twenty essays are new to this edition with many written by a younger generation of aestheticians on the cutting edge of the field.


A chief and continuing feature of the new illustrated edition is its emphasis on issues in all of the arts, and not merely in the "fine" arts. It gives sustained attention to the popular and mass arts as well as covering recent theorizing about art forms not traditionally covered in most books on aesthetics, such as jazz, rock, comics, and video games–even to such vernacular subjects such as junkyards.


This volume offers faculty members an extraordinary number of options for organizing a basic course in philosophy of the arts, all while minimizing dependence on supplementary reading material. It is also convenient for independent assignments and student projects. With its range of sophistication, it can continue to be used above the level of introductory courses.


The collection includes readings from both the "continental" and the "analytic" tradition in aesthetics. It also exhibits continued attention to offerings about non-Western art and aesthetics.


One of the advantages of this anthology is that many of the selections are relatively brief but always self-contained. A broader context for each reading is presented in the introduction to each section.


Students arrive in class with very different attitudes towards, and experiences with, the arts. This anthology has been successful in many quarters: large lecture formats and small classrooms, big universities and smaller liberal arts schools, in wider fields of study and in classes with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.


We thank our colleagues who have made suggestions regarding the contents and organization of Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts and have tried to incorporate many of them into this edition. We welcome your comments on this third edition.


We can be reached at: goldblatt@denison.edu and brown.68@osu.edu.




David Goldblatt & Lee B. Brown


Denison University & The Ohio State University


Table of Contents













Against Imitation, Plato

The Limits of Likeness, Ernst Gombrich

Reality Remade, Nelson Goodman

The “Perfect” Fake, Nelson Goodman

Artistic Crimes, Denis Dutton

Form in Modern Painting, Clive Bell

A Formal Analysis, Edmund Burke Feldman

On Modernist Painting, Clement Greenberg

Intentional Visual Interest, Michael Baxandall

Works of Art and Mere Real Things, Arthur C. Danto

The Origin of the Work of Art, Martin Heidegger

Why are there no Great Women Artists? Linda Nochlin

The Paradox of Expression, Garry L. Hagberg

Painting and Ethics, Anne Eaton

Art and Corruption, David Alfaro Siquerios




The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin

Transparent Pictures, Kendall L. Walton

Why Photography Doesn’t Represent Artistically, Roger Scruton

What’s Special About Photography? Ted Cohen

The Hubble Photographs as Aesthetic Objects, Flo Leibowitz

Allegory of the Cave, Plato

The Power of Movies, Noël Carroll

Woman as Image, Man as Bearer of the Look, Laura Mulvey

Audience, Actor, and Star, Stanley Cavell

Beauty and Evil:  the Case of Leni Riefenstahl, Mary Devereaux

The Last King of Scotland: The Ethics of Race in Film, Paul Taylor





The Problem of Architecture, Roger Scruton

Virtual Space, Suzanne Langer

Ornament and Crime, Adolf Loos

Towards an Architecture, Le Corbusier

Architecture as Decorated Shelter, Robert Venturi

A Discussion of Architecture (with Christopher Norris), Jacques Derrida

The Dislocation of the Architectural Self, David Goldblatt

Nature and Art, Donald Crawford

Something there is that Doesn't Love a Wall, Patricia C. Phillips





On the Concept of Music, Jerrold Levinson

Ontology of Music, Ben Caplan and Carl Matheson

Making Tracks, Andrew Kania

Is Live Music Dead? Lee B. Brown

The Expression of Emotion in Music, Stephen Davies                               

Representation in Music, Roger Scruton

Sound and Semblance, Peter Kivy

African Music, John Miller Chernoff

Jazz and Language, Robert Kraut

A Topography of Musical Improvisation, Philip Alperson




What Is Literature? Terry Eagleton

The Poetic Expression of Emotion, R. G. Collingwood

The Intention of the Author, Monroe Beardsley

What Is an Author? Michel Foucault

Criticism as Retrieval, Richard Wollheim

Beneath Interpretation, Richard Shusterman

The Art of Writing, Lu Chi

How to Eat a Chinese Poem, Richard Bodman

Imagination and Make-Believe, Gregory Currie 




Ion, Plato

On Tragedy, Aristotle                                                                              

The Birth of Tragedy, Friedrich Nietzsche                                                

On Oedipus Rex and Hamlet, Sigmund Freud

Virtual Powers, Suzanne Langer

What is Going on in a Dance? Monroe C. Beardsley

Working and Dancing, Noël Carroll and Sally Banes

The Dance of S´iva, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Literature as a Performing Art, J. O. Urmson

Art as Performance, David Davies






Plato and the Mass Media, Alexander Nehamas

Adorno’s Case Against Popular Music, Lee B. Brown

Aesthetics and Popular Art, Richard Shusterman

Television and Aesthetics, Umberto Eco                                                  

Social Consciousness in Dancehall Reggae, Anita M. Waters

Kitsch, Robert Solomon

The Aesthetics of Junkyards, Thomas Leddy

Fakin’ It: Is There Authenticity in Commercial Music? Theodore Gracyk

Can White People Sing the Blues? Joel Rudinow

Jokes, Ted Cohen

Defining Comics, Aaron Meskin

Relating Comics, Cartoons, and Animation, Henry John Pratt

Ventriloquism, David Goldblatt

Defining Mass Art, Noël Carroll

Videogames, Interactivity and Art, Grant Tavinor

Is it Only a Game? The Ethics of Video Game Play, Stephanie Patridge

Pornography, Joel Feinberg

The Real Harm of Pornography, Catharine A. MacKinnon








Of the Standard of Taste, David Hume

The Sublime, Edmund Burke

Judgments about the Beautiful, Immanuel Kant

The Philosophy of Fine Art, G. W. F. Hegel

Art as Experience, John Dewey





Aesthetic Concepts, Frank Sibley

Categories of Art, Kendall L. Walton

The Role of Theory in Aesthetics, Morris Weitz

Art as a Social Institution, George Dickie

Feminism in Context, Peg Zeglin Brand

A Different Plea for Disinterest, Theodore Gracyk

Aesthetic Appreciation of the Natural Environment, Allen Carlson

Art and Natural Selection, Denis Dutton









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