Aesthetics is the philosophical study of art.
In its orginal Greek derivation, the term denoted the study of sense experience generallyn and it was not until the the mid-18th century, following a usage introduced by Baumgarten, that a particular reference to the idea of beauty in nature and art was established. The current meanin developped even later in the 18th and early 19th articulation of the concept of fine art.
Although discussions of beauty have always fiured in the history of philosophy, theses discussions were, until the modern period, invariably linked to primary concerns with epistemology, and ontology, or with moral and social value, or with logic. Plato and Aristotle, for example, were both concerned with the question whether art could embody and communicate thruth and knowledge. And Plato’s view that it could not – that art stood at several removes from reality – led him to proscribe most forms of art from his ideal Republic, lest its citizens be diverted from nobler puirsuits.
In the early 18th century, empiricist philosophers such as Hutcheson and Hume were primarly concerned with the standards and logic of our judgements of taste and beauty.
The real impetus to the idea of aesthetics as a distinctive branch of philosophy occured in the work of Baumgarten and Kant. For each came to regard aesthetic consciousness as a significant and unitary element of human existence. In Kant’s view, aesthetic judgement is unlike either theoretical judgement or practical judgement, in that is effected entirely subjectivily, solely in reference to the subject himself. Kant argued in the Critique of Judgement, aesthetic judgement provids the essential focus for connecting the theorical and practical aspects of our nature. It can thus reconcile the worlds of nature and freedom.
Summarize Art & Philosophy
– Art is an imitation for Plato, the work of the artisan is to copy or imitate the idea, eternal, immutable, for one thing. The artist proceeds by imitation but also what copy is the sensible thing is to say an already imperfect reproduction of the Idea. Instead of approaching the truth, it increases the distance that separates her.
– The Judgement of Taste: Kant, is the art of reflective judgment opposing the ruling factor. The latter is used in scientific discourse and is to apply concepts (universal) prior to singular objects. Reflective Judgement (eg, “How beautiful”) may instead assume universality. The beautiful is disinterested (the utility and fun do not take part) it pleases universally without a concept (universal subjective) well, it’s a finality without end (it shows in order, a plan, but does nothing beyond itself)
– The Science of Art: Hegel criticizes Kant for having retained a subjective point of view on art. But a science of art is possible in that art is a production of the spirit (Geist), it is not unlike the individual consciousness. The science of art is historical, because the idea of art unfolds itself in history until the modern era that marks the end of art.
– The powers of the imagination: Delacroix and Baudelaire asserts the primacy of the imagination (constructive) in art. The primary subject of art is not nature but the artist himself, the depths of his soul, emotions, etc.. Alain critique this view by stating that the imagination is an illusion and that nothing is given, in the human psyche, an emotional disorder. Art is the externalization, the act of ordering and discipline of the passions.
– The artist as a work of art: For Nietzsche, the aesthetic categories are metaphysical categories. The figure of Dionysus, which is essential to tragedy, is what is terrifying to disproportionate in nature. Nature, only an artistic vision can support and embellish, is the power of metamorphosis, becoming, creation and destruction. The artist, one man (or superman) is the one that truly manages to order the chaos of impulses that inhabit it. Aesthetics is an “Applied Physiology”.
– Art and technology: The question of the future of art in an age where technology acquires a dominant position is essential. Benjamin shows as well as the reproducibility of art (photography, for example), they tend to lose their aura, their sacred nature.
– The work of art and the tool: For Heidegger the traditional conception of the natural thing, the tool and the work of art as composed of matter and form comes from human activity in manufacturing which a material is worked to fit a function, and thus becomes a tool. But daily use tools mask their being, their truth because the tool is effective only in strict as it is forgotten. The work of art is what reveals the being of the tool, membership in a human world and a primitive nature (the Earth).
Related articles on Art and Aesthetics
- Plato and Aristotle (the-philosophy.com)
- Socrates Philosophy (the-philosophy.com)
- Kant vs Hume : Morality, Causality and Metaphysics (the-philosophy.com)
- Plato and Forms (the-philosophy.com)
- Nietzsche Quotes (the-philosophy.com)
- Hume’s Philosophy: Religion, Moral and Empiricism (the-philosophy.com)
- Is Philosophy of Art Normative? (eclectictheist.wordpress.com)
- Sentences on Conceptual Art (helicalmotion.wordpress.com)