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Aesthetics

Aesthetics

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Published by viplavMBA

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: viplavMBA on Sep 14, 2010
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Aesthetics
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to:navigation, search 
"Aesthetic" redirects here. For the 2003 post-hardcore album, see Aesthetic (EP)."Aesthetician" redirects here. For a cosmetologist who specializes in the study of skincare, see Esthetician. Not to be conf 
 
)
 d 
Aesthetics
æsthetics
or 
esthetics
) is a branch of philosophy dealing withthe nature of  beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of  beauty.
 Itis more scientifically defined as the study of sensoryor sensori-emotional values,sometimes called judgmentsof sentimentandtaste.
More broadly, scholars in the fielddefine aesthetics as "critical reflection onart, cultureandnature."
 Aesthetics is asubdiscipline of axiology,a branch of  philosophy, and is closely associated with the  philosophy of art.
Aesthetics studies new ways of seeing and of perceiving the world.
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[edit] Etymology
The term "aesthetics" was coined in theGermanform
 Æsthetik 
(modern spelling
 Ästhetik 
) byAlexander Baumgarten in 1735. It was derived from the Greek  
αισθητικός 
(
aisthetikos
, meaning "esthetic-sensitive-sentient"), which in turn was derived from
αίσθηση-αισθάνομαι
(
aisthese-aisthanomai
, meaning "to perceive-feel-sense").
[edit] Aesthetic judgment
Judgments of aesthetic value rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level.Aesthetics examines our affective domain response to an object or phenomenon.Immanuel Kant, writing in 1790, observes of a man "If he says that canary wine is
 
agreeable he is quite content if someone else corrects his terms and reminds him to sayinstead: It is agreeable to
me
," because "Everyone has his own (senseof)taste". The case of "beauty" is different from mere "agreeableness" because, "If he proclaims somethingto be beautiful, then he requires the same liking from others; he then judges not just for himself but for everyone, and speaks of beauty as if it were a property of things."Aesthetic judgments usually go beyond sensory discrimination. For David Hume,delicacy of taste is not merely "the ability to detect all the ingredients in a composition", but also our sensitivity "to pains as well as pleasures, which escape the rest of mankind."(Essays Moral Political and Literary. Indianapolis, Literary Classics 5, 1987.) Thus, thesensory discrimination is linked to capacity for  pleasure.For Kant "enjoyment" is the result when pleasure arises from sensation, but judging somethingto be "beautiful" has athird requirement: sensation must give rise to pleasure by engaging our capacities of reflective contemplation. Judgments of beauty are sensory, emotional and intellectual allat once.Viewer interpretations of beauty possess two concepts of value: aesthetics and taste.Aesthetics is the philosophical notion of beauty. Taste is a result of educationandawareness of elite cultural values; therefore taste can be learned. Taste varies accordingtoclass, cultural background, and education. According to Kant, beauty is objective anduniversal; thus certain things are beautiful to everyone. The contemporary view of beautyis not based on innate qualities, but rather on cultural specifics and individualinterpretations.
[edit] Factors involved in aesthetic judgment
Judgments of aesthetic value seem often to involve many other kinds of issues as well.Responses such as disgust show that sensory detection is linked ininstinctualways tofacial expressions, and even behaviors like thegag reflex.Yet disgust can often be a learned or cultural issue too; as Darwin pointed out, seeing a stripe of soup in a man's beard is disgusting even though neither soupnor  beards are themselves disgusting. Aesthetic judgments may be linked to emotions or, like emotions, partially embodied inour physical reactions. Seeing asublime view of a landscape may give us a reaction of  awe,which might manifest physically as an increased heart rate or widened eyes. Theseunconscious reactions may even be partly constitutive of what makes our judgment a judgment that the landscape is sublime.Likewise, aesthetic judgments may be culturally conditioned to some extent. Victorians  in Britain often sawAfrican sculptureas ugly, but just a few decades later,Edwardian audiences saw the same sculptures as being beautiful. The Abuse of Beauty, Evaluationsof beauty may well be linked to desirability, perhaps even tosexualdesirability. Thus, judgments of aesthetic valuecan become linked to judgments of economic, political,or  moralvalue.
We might judge aLamborghinito be beautiful partly because it isdesirable as a status symbol, or we might judge it to be repulsive partly because itsignifies for us over-consumption and offends our political or moral values.

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