An Introduction

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Aesthetics (also spelled Ästhetics or esthetics) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.[1] It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste.[2] More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature."[3] [4]

It was derived from the Greek ÄÅÇÉÑÖÜáàâ (aisthetikos, meaning "esthetic, sensitive, sentient"), which in turn was derived from ÄÅÇÉÑÖÜáÄà (aisthanomai, meaning "I perceive, feel, sense").[5] The term "aesthetics" was appropriated and coined with new meaning in the German form ästhetik (modern spelling ãsthetik) by Alexander Baumgarten in 1735.

History of aesthetics
Ancient aesthetics
There are examples of pre-historic art, but they are rare, and the context of their production and use is not very clear, so the aesthetic doctrines that guided their production and interpretation are mostly unknown. Ancient art was largely, but not entirely, based on the eight great ancient civilizations: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Persia, India, China and Mayan. Each of these centers of early civilization developed a unique and Bronze sculpture, thought to be either characteristic style in its art. Greece had the most influence on the Poseidon or Zeus, National development of aesthetics in the West. This period of Greek art saw a Archaeological Museum of Athens veneration of the human physical form and the development of corresponding skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct proportions. Furthermore, in many Western and Eastern cultures alike, traits such as body hair are rarely depicted in art that addresses physical beauty. More in contrast with this Greek-Western aesthetic taste is the genre of grotesque.[6] Greek philosophers initially felt that aesthetically appealing objects were beautiful in and of themselves. Plato felt that beautiful objects incorporated proportion, harmony, and unity among their parts. Similarly, in the Metaphysics, Aristotle found that the universal elements of beauty were order, symmetry, and definiteness.

Islamic aesthetics
Islamic art is not, properly speaking, an art pertaining to religion only. The term "Islamic" refers not only to the religion, but to any form of art created in an Islamic culture or in an Islamic context. It would also be a mistake to assume that all Muslims are in agreement on the use of art in religious observance, the proper place of art in society, or the relation between secular art and the demands placed on the secular world to conform to religious precepts. Islamic art frequently adopts secular elements and elements that are frowned upon, if not forbidden, by some Islamic theologians.[7] According to Islam, human works of art are inherently flawed compared to the work of God; thus, it is believed by many that to attempt to depict in a realistic form any animal or person is insolence to God. This tendency has had the effect of narrowing the field of artistic possibility to such forms of art as Arabesque, mosaic, Islamic calligraphy, and Islamic architecture, as well as more generally any form of abstraction that can claim the status of non-representational art.

Aesthetics The limited possibilities have been explored by artists as an outlet to artistic expression, and has been cultivated to become a positive style and tradition, emphasizing the decorative function of art, or its religious functions via non-representational forms such as Geometric patterns, floral patterns, and arabesques. Human or animal depiction is generally forbidden altogether in Islamic cultures because it is said to lead to sculptural pieces which then leads to worship of that sculpture or "idol". Human portrayals can be found in early Islamic cultures with varying degrees of acceptance by religious authorities. Human representation for the purpose of worship that is uniformly considered idolatry as forbidden in Sharia law. There are many depictions of Muhammad, Islam's chief prophet, in historical Islamic art.[8] [9] The calligraphic arts grew out of an effort to devote oneself to the study of the Quran. By patiently transcribing each word of the text, the writer was made to contemplate the meaning of it. As time passed, these calligraphic works began to be prized as works of art, growing increasingly elaborate in the illumination and stylizing of the text. These illuminations were applied to other works besides the Quran, and it became a respected art form in and of itself.


Indian aesthetics
Indian art evolved with an emphasis on inducing special spiritual or philosophical states in the audience, or with representing them symbolically. According to Kapila Vatsyayan, "Classical Indian architecture, sculpture, painting, literature (kåvya), music, and dancing evolved their own rules conditioned by their respective media, but they shared with one another not only the underlying spiritual beliefs of the Indian religio-philosophic mind, but also the procedures by which the relationships of the symbol and the spiritual states were worked out in detail." In the Pan Indian philosophic thought the term 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' is another name for the concept of the Supreme. 'Sat' is the truth value, 'Shiv' is the good value & 'Sundaram' is the beauty value. Man through his 'Srabana' or education, 'Manana' or experience and conceptualization and 'Sadhana' or practice, through different stages of life (Asramas) comes to form and realize the idea of these three values to develop a value system. This Value-system helps us to develop two basic ideas 1) that of 'Daksha' or the adept/expert and 2) of Mahana/Parama or the Absolute and thus to judge anything in this universe in the light of these two measures, known as 'Adarsha'. A person who has mastered great amounts of knowledge of the grammars, rules, & language of an art-form are adepts (Daksha), where as those who have worked through the whole system and journeyed ahead of these to become a law unto themself is called a Mahana. Individuals idea of 'Daksha' and 'Mahana' is relative to one's development of the concept of 'Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram.' For example, Tagore's idea of these two concepts should be way above any common man's and many perceive Tagore as a 'Mahana' Artist in the realm of literature. This concept of Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram, a kind of Value Theory is the cornerstone of Indian Aesthetics. Of particular concern to Indian drama and literature are the term 'Bhava' or the state of mind and rasa referring generally to the emotional flavors/essence crafted into the work by the writer and relished by a 'sensitive spectator' or sahçdaya or one with positive taste and mind. Poets like Kâlidâsa were attentive to rasa, which blossomed into a fully developed aesthetic system. Even in contemporary India the term rasa denoting "flavor" or "essence" is used colloquially to describe the aesthetic experiences in films; "mâsala mix" describes popular Hindi cinema films which serve a so called balanced emotional meal for the masses, savored as rasa by these spectators. Rasa theory blossoms beginning with the Sanskrit text Nâtyashâstra (nåtya meaning "drama" and shåstra meaning "science of"), a work attributed to Bharata Muni where the Gods declare that drama is the 'Fifth Veda' because it is suitable for the degenerate age as the best form of religious instruction. While the date of composition varies wildly among scholars, ranging from the era of Plato and Aristotle to the seventh century CE. The Nâtyashâstra presents the aesthetic concepts of rasas and their associated bhâvas in Chapters Six and Seven respectively, which appear to be independent of the work as a whole. Eight rasas and associated bhâvas are named and their enjoyment is likened to savoring a meal: rasa is the enjoyment of flavors that arise from the proper preparation of ingredients and the quality of ingredients. What rasa actually is, in a theoretical sense, is not discussed and given the Nâtyashâstra's pithy wording it is unlikely the exact understanding of the original author(s) will be known.

Aesthetics The theory of the rasas develops significantly with the Kashmiri aesthetician ändandavardhana's classic on poetics, the Dhvanyâloka which introduces the ninth rasa, shânta-rasa as a specifically religious feeling of peace (éånta) which arises from its bhâva, weariness of the pleasures of the world. The primary purpose of this text is to refine the literary concept dhvani or poetic suggestion, by arguing for the existence of rasa-dhvani, primarily in forms of Sanskrit including a word, sentence or whole work "suggests" a real-world emotional state or bhâva, but thanks to aesthetic distance, the sensitive spectator relishes the rasa, the aesthetic flavor of tragedy, heroism or romance. The 9th - 10th century master of the religious system known as "the nondual Shaivism of Kashmir" (or "Kashmir Shaivism") and aesthetician, Abhinavagupta brought rasa theory to its pinnacle in his separate commentaries on the Dhvanyâloka, the Dhvanyâloka-locana (translated by Ingalls, Masson and Patwardhan, 1992) and the Abhinavabharati, his commentary on the Nâtyashâstra, portions of which are translated by Gnoli and Masson and Patwardhan. Abhinavagupta offers for the first time a technical definition of rasa which is the universal bliss of the Self or Atman colored by the emotional tone of a drama. Shânta-rasa functions as an equal member of the set of rasas but is simultaneously distinct being the most clear form of aesthetic bliss. Abhinavagupta likens it to the string of a jeweled necklace; while it may not be the most appealing for most people, it is the string that gives form to the necklace, allowing the jewels of the other eight rasas to be relished. Relishing the rasas and particularly shânta-rasa is hinted as being as-good-as but never-equal-to the bliss of Self-realization experienced by yogis.


Chinese aesthetics
Chinese art has a long history of varied styles and emphases. In ancient times philosophers were already arguing about aesthetics. Confucius emphasized the role of the arts and humanities (especially music and poetry) in broadening human nature and aiding "li" (etiquette, the rites) in bringing us back to what is essential about humanity. His opponent Mozi, however, argued that music and fine arts were classist and wasteful, benefiting the rich but not the common people. By the 4th century AD, artists were debating in writing over the proper goals of art as well. Gu Kaizhi has 3 surviving books on this theory of painting, for example, and it's not uncommon to find later artist/scholars who both create art and write about the creating of art. Religious and philosophical influence on art was common (and diverse) but never universal; it is easy to find art that largely ignores philosophy and religion in almost every Chinese time period.

African aesthetics
African art existed in many forms and styles, and with fairly little influence from outside Africa. Most of it followed traditional forms and the aesthetic norms were handed down orally as well as written. Sculpture and performance art are prominent, and abstract and partially abstracted forms are valued, and were valued long before influence from the Western tradition began in earnest. The Nok culture is testimony to this. The mosque of Timbuktu shows that specific areas of Africa developed unique aesthetics.

Western medieval aesthetics
Surviving medieval art is primarily religious in focus and funded largely by the State, Roman Catholic or Orthodox church, powerful ecclesiastical individuals, or wealthy secular patrons.

The Great Mosque's signature trio of minarets overlooks the central market of Djennã. Unique Malian aesthetic

These art pieces often served a liturgical function, whether as chalices or even as church buildings themselves. Objects of fine art from this period were frequently made from rare and valuable materials, such as gold and lapis,

Aesthetics the cost of which commonly exceeded the wages of the artist. Medieval aesthetics in the realm of philosophy built upon Classical thought, continuing the practice of Plotinus by employing theological terminology in its explications. St. BonaventureÄs ÅRetracing the Arts to TheologyÇ, a primary example of this method, discusses the skills of the artisan as gifts given by God for the purpose of disclosing God to mankind, which purpose is achieved through four lights: the light of skill in mechanical arts which discloses the world of artifacts; which light is guided by the light of sense perception which discloses the world of natural forms; which light, consequently, is guided by the light of philosophy which discloses the world of intellectual truth; finally, this light is guided by the light of divine wisdom which discloses the world of saving truth. Saint Thomas Aquinas's aesthetic is probably the most famous and influential theory among medieval authors, having been the subject of much scrutiny in the wake of the neo-Scholastic revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and even having received the approbation of the celebrated Modernist writer, James Joyce. Thomas, like many other medievals, never gives a systematic account of beauty itself, but several scholars have conventionally arranged his thoughtÉthough not always with uniform conclusionsÉusing relevant observations spanning the entire corpus of his work. While Aquinas's theory follows generally the model of Aristotle, he develops a singular aesthetics which incorporates elements unique to his thought. Umberto Eco's The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas identifies the three main characteristics of beauty in Aquinas's philosophy: integritas sive perfectio, consonantia sive debita proportio, and claritas sive splendor formae. While Aristotle likewise identifies the first two characteristics, St. Thomas conceives of the third as an appropriation from principles developed by neo-Platonic and Augustinian thinkers. With the shift from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, art likewise changed its focus, as much in its content as in its mode of expression.


Modern aesthetics
From the late 17th to the early 20th century Western aesthetics underwent a slow revolution into what is often called modernism. German and British thinkers emphasised beauty as the key component of art and of the aesthetic experience, and saw art as necessarily aiming at absolute beauty. For Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten aesthetics is the science of the sense experiences, a younger sister of logic, and beauty is thus the most perfect kind of knowledge that sense experience can have. For Immanuel Kant the aesthetic experience of beauty is a judgment of a subjective but similar human truth, since all people should agree that Åthis rose is beautifulÇ if it in fact is. However, beauty cannot be reduced to any more basic set of features. For Lorsch Gospels 778Ñ 820. Charlemagne's Court School. Friedrich Schiller aesthetic appreciation of beauty is the most perfect reconciliation of the sensual and rational parts of human nature. For Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, the philosophy of art is the "organon" of philosophy concerning the relation between man and nature. So aesthetics began now to be the name for the philosophy of art. Friedrich von Schlegel, August Wilhelm Schlegel, Friedrich Schleiermacher and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel have also given lectures on aesthetics as philosophy of art after 1800. For Hegel all culture is a matter of "absolute spirit" coming to be manifest to itself, stage by stage, changing to a perfection that only philosophy can approach. Art is the first stage in which the absolute spirit is manifest immediately to sense-perception, and is thus an objective rather than subjective revelation of beauty.

Aesthetics For Arthur Schopenhauer aesthetic contemplation of beauty is the most free that the pure intellect can be from the dictates of will; here we contemplate perfection of form without any kind of worldly agenda, and thus any intrusion of utility or politics would ruin the point of the beauty. It is thus for Schopenhauer one way to fight the suffering. The British were largely divided into intuitionist and analytic camps. The intuitionists believed that aesthetic experience was disclosed by a single mental faculty of some kind. For Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury this was identical to the moral sense, beauty just is the sensory version of moral goodness. For Ludwig Wittgenstein aesthetics consisted in the description of a whole culture which is a linguistic impossibility. That which constitutes aesthetics lies out side the realm of the language game. On 7 January 1904 James Joyce attempted to publish A Portrait of the Artist, an essay-story dealing with aesthetics, only to have it rejected from the free-thinking magazine Dana. He decided, on his twenty-second birthday, to revise the story into a novel he called Stephen Hero. It was a fictional rendering of Joyce's youth, but he eventually grew frustrated with its direction and abandoned this work. It was never published in this form, but years later, in Trieste, Joyce completely rewrote it as A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The unfinished Stephen Hero was published after his death. For Oscar Wilde the contemplation of beauty for beauty's sake was not only the foundation for much of his literary career but was quoted as saying "Aestheticism is a search after the signs of the beautiful. It is the science of the beautiful through which men seek the correlation of the arts. It is, to speak more exactly, the search after the secret of life.".[10] Wilde famously toured the United States in 1882. He travelled across the United States spreading the idea of Aesthetics in a speech called "The English Renaissance." In his speech he proposed that Beauty and Aesthetics was "not languid but energetic. By beautifying the outward aspects of life, one would beautify the inner ones." The English Renaissance was, he said, "like the Italian Renaissance before it, a sort of rebirth of the spirit of man".[11] For Francis Hutcheson beauty is disclosed by an inner mental sense, but is a subjective fact rather than an objective one. Analytic theorists like Henry Home, Lord Kames, William Hogarth, and Edmund Burke hoped to reduce beauty to some list of attributes. Hogarth, for example, thinks that beauty consists of (1) fitness of the parts to some design; (2) variety in as many ways as possible; (3) uniformity, regularity or symmetry, which is only beautiful when it helps to preserve the character of fitness; (4) simplicity or distinctness, which gives pleasure not in itself, but through its enabling the eye to enjoy variety with ease; (5) intricacy, which provides employment for our active energies, leading the eye on "a wanton kind of chase"; and (6) quantity or magnitude, which draws our attention and produces admiration and awe. Later analytic aestheticians strove to link beauty to some scientific theory of psychology (such as James Mill) or biology (such as Herbert Spencer).


William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745



Post-modern aesthetics and psychoanalysis
Early twentieth century artists, poets and composers challenged existing notions of beauty, broadening the scope of art and aesthetics. In 1941, Eli Siegel, American philosopher and poet, founded Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy that reality itself is aesthetic, and that "The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites."[12] [13] Various attempts have been made to define Post-modern aesthetics. The challenge to the assumption that beauty was central to art and aesthetics, thought to be original, is actually continuous with older aesthetic theory; Aristotle was the first in the Western tradition to classify "beauty" into types as in his theory of drama, and Kant made a distinction between beauty and the sublime. What was new was a refusal to credit the higher status of certain types, where the taxonomy implied a preference for tragedy and the sublime to comedy and the Rococo. Croce suggested that ÅexpressionÇ is central in the way that beauty was once thought to be central. George Dickie suggested that the sociological institutions of the art world were the glue binding art and sensibility into unities. Marshall McLuhan suggested that art always functions as a "counter-environment" designed to make visible what is usually invisible about a society. Theodor Adorno felt that aesthetics could not proceed without confronting the role of the culture industry in the commodification of art and aesthetic experience. Hal Foster (art critic) attempted to portray the reaction against beauty and Modernist art in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Arthur Danto has described this reaction as "kalliphobia" (after the Greek word for beauty - 'kalos').[14] Andrã Malraux [15] explains that the notion of beauty was connected to a particular conception of art that arose with the Renaissance and was still dominant in the eighteenth century (but was supplanted later). The discipline of aesthetics, which originated in the eighteenth century, mistook this transient state of affairs for a revelation of the permanent nature of art.[16] Brian Massumi suggests to reconsider beauty following the aesthetical thought in the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari.[17] Daniel Berlyne created the field of experimental aesthetics in the 1970s, for which he is still the most cited individual decades after his death.[18] Pneumaist aestheticism is a theory of art and a highly experimental approach to art negating historical preconceptions of the aesthetic. Jean-Franåois Lyotard re-invokes the Kantian distinction between taste and the sublime. Sublime painting, unlike kitsch realism, "...will enable us to see only by making it impossible to see; it will please only by causing pain."[19]

Sigmund Freud inaugurated aesthetical thinking in Psychoanalysis mainly via the "Uncanny" as aesthetical affect.[21] Following Freud and Merleau-Ponty,[22] Jacques Lacan theorized aesthetics in terms of sublimation and the Thing

Aesthetics and information

Aesthetics In the 1970s, Abraham Moles and Frieder Nake were among the first to analyze links between aesthetics, information processing, and information theory.[24] [25] In the 1990s, Jçrgen Schmidhuber described an algorithmic theory of beauty which takes the subjectivity of the observer into account and postulates: among several observations classified as comparable by a given subjective observer, the aesthetically most pleasing one is the one with the shortest description, given the observerÄs previous knowledge and his particular Initial image of a Mandelbrot set zoom [26] [27] sequence with continuously coloured method for encoding the data. This is closely related to the principles environment of algorithmic information theory and minimum description length. One of his examples: mathematicians enjoy simple proofs with a short description in their formal language. Another very concrete example describes an aesthetically pleasing human face whose proportions can be described by very few bits of information,[28] [29] drawing inspiration from less detailed 15th century proportion studies by Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dçrer. Schmidhuber's theory explicitly distinguishes between what's beautiful and what's interesting, stating that interestingness corresponds to the first derivative of subjectively perceived beauty. Here the premise is that any observer continually tries to improve the predictability and compressibility of the observations by discovering regularities such as repetitions and symmetries and fractal self-similarity. Whenever the observer's learning process (which may be a predictive neural network - see also Neuroesthetics) leads to improved data compression such that the observation sequence can be described by fewer bits than before, the temporary interestingness of the data corresponds to the number of saved bits. This compression progress is proportional to the observer's internal reward , also called curiosity reward. A reinforcement learning algorithm is used to maximize future expected reward by learning to execute action sequences that cause additional interesting input data with yet unknown but learnable predictability or regularity. The principles can be implemented on artificial agents which then exhibit a form of artificial curiosity.[30] [31] [32] [33]


Applied aesthetics
As well as being applied to art aesthetics can also be applied to cultural objects. Aesthetic coupling between art-objects and medical topics was made by speakers working for the US Information Agency[34] This coupling was made to reinforce the learning paradigm when English-language speakers used translators to address audiences in their own country. These audiences were generally not fluent in the English language. It can also be used in topics as diverse as mathematics, gastronomy, fashion and website design.[35]

Aesthetic ethics
Aesthetic ethics refers to the idea that human conduct and behaviour ought to be governed by that which is beautiful and attractive. John Dewey [36] has pointed out that the unity of aesthetics and ethics is in fact reflected in our understanding of behaviour being "fair" - the word having a double meaning of attractive and morally acceptable. More recently, James Page [37] has suggested that aesthetic ethics might be taken to form a philosophical rationale for peace education.



Truth as beauty, mathematics, analytic philosophy, and physics
Mathematical considerations, such as symmetry and complexity, are used for analysis in theoretical aesthetics. This is different from the aesthetic considerations of applied aesthetics used in the study of mathematical beauty. Aesthetic considerations such as symmetry and simplicity are used in areas of philosophy, such as ethics and theoretical physics and cosmology to define truth, outside of empirical considerations. Beauty and Truth have been argued to be nearly synonymous,[38] as reflected in the statement "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" in the poem Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats. The fact that judgments of beauty and judgments of truth both are influenced by processing fluency, which is the ease with which information can be processed, has been presented as an explanation for why beauty is sometimes equated with truth.[39] Indeed, recent research found that people use beauty as an indication for truth in mathematical pattern tasks.[40]

Computational inference of aesthetics
Since about 2005, computer scientists have attempted to develop automated methods to infer aesthetic quality of images. Large number of manually rated online photographs were used to "teach" computers about what visual properties are of relevance to aesthetic quality. The Acquine engine, developed at Penn State University, rates natural photographs uploaded by users.[41] Notable in this area is Michael Leyton, professor of psychology at Rutgers University. Leyton is the president of the International Society for Mathematical and Computational Aesthetics and the International Society for Group Theory in Cognitive Science and has developed a generative theory of shape. There have also been relatively successful attempts with regard to chess and music.[42]

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 say instead: It is agreeable to me," because "Everyone has his own (sense of) taste". The case of "beauty" is different from mere "agreeableness" because, "If he proclaims something to 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, the sensory discrimination is linked to capacity for pleasure. For Kant "enjoyment" is the result when pleasure arises from sensation, but judging something to be "beautiful" has a third requirement: sensation must give rise to pleasure by engaging our capacities of reflective contemplation. Judgments of beauty are sensory, emotional and intellectual all at 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 education and awareness of elite cultural values; therefore taste can be learned. Taste varies according to class, cultural background, and education. According to Kant, beauty is objective and universal; thus certain things are beautiful to everyone. The contemporary view of beauty is not based on innate qualities, but rather on cultural specifics and individual interpretations.



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 in instinctual ways to facial expressions, and even behaviors like the gag 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 soup nor beards are themselves disgusting. Aesthetic judgments may be Rainbows often have aesthetic appeal. linked to emotions or, like emotions, partially embodied in our physical reactions. Seeing a sublime view of a landscape may give us a reaction of awe, which might manifest physically as an increased heart rate or widened eyes. These unconscious 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 saw African sculpture as ugly, but just a few decades later, Edwardian audiences saw the same sculptures as being beautiful. The Abuse of Beauty, Evaluations of beauty may well be linked to desirability, perhaps even to sexual desirability. Thus, judgments of aesthetic value can become linked to judgments of economic, political, or moral value.[43] In a current context, one might judge a Lamborghini to be beautiful partly because it is desirable as a status symbol, or we might judge it to be repulsive partly because it signifies for us over-consumption and offends our political or moral values.[44] "Part and Parcel in Animal and Human Societies". in Studies in animal and human behavior, vol. 2. pp.é115Ñ 195. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1971 (originally pub. 1950.) Aesthetic judgments can often be very fine-grained and internally contradictory. Likewise aesthetic judgments seem often to be at least partly intellectual and interpretative. It is what a thing means or symbolizes for us that is often what we are judging. Modern aestheticians have asserted that will and desire were almost dormant in aesthetic experience, yet preference and choice have seemed important aesthetics to some 20th century thinkers. The point is already made by Hume, but see Mary Mothersill, "Beauty and the CriticÄs Judgment", in The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics, 2004. Thus aesthetic judgments might be seen to be based on the senses, emotions, intellectual opinions, will, desires, culture, preferences, values, subconscious behavior, conscious decision, training, instinct, sociological institutions, or some complex combination of these, depending on exactly which theory one employs.

Are different art forms beautiful, disgusting, or boring in the same way?
A third major topic in the study of aesthetic judgments is how they are unified across art forms. We can call a person, a house, a symphony, a fragrance, and a mathematical proof beautiful. What characteristics do they share which give them that status? What possible feature could a proof and a fragrance both share in virtue of which they both count as beautiful? What makes a painting beautiful is quite different from what makes music beautiful, which suggests that each art form has its own language for the judgement of aesthetics.[45] At the same time, there is seemingly quite a lack of words to express oneself accurately when making an aesthetic judgment. An aesthetic judgment cannot be an empirical judgement. Therefore, due to impossibility for precision, there is confusion about what interpretations can be culturally negotiated. Due to imprecision in the standard English language, two completely different feelings experienced by two different people can be represented by an identical verbal expression. Wittgenstein stated this in his lectures on aesthetics and language games. A collective identification of beauty, with willing participants in a given social spectrum, may be a socially negotiated phenomenon, discussed in a culture or context. Is there some underlying unity to aesthetic judgment and is there some way to articulate the similarities of a beautiful house, beautiful proof, and beautiful sunset?[46] Defining it requires a description of the entire phenomenon, as Wittgenstein argued in his lectures on aesthetics. Likewise there has been long debate on how perception of beauty in the natural world, especially perception of the

Aesthetics human form as beautiful, is supposed to relate to perceiving beauty in art or artefacts. This goes back at least to Kant, with some echoes even in St. Bonaventure.


Aesthetics and the philosophy of art


Aesthetics is for the artist as Ornithology is for the birds.


É Barnett Newman

[47] [48]

Aesthetics is used by some as a synonym for the philosophy of art since Hegel, while others insist on a distinction between these closely related fields. In practice aesthetic judgement refers to the sensory contemplation or appreciation of an object (not necessarily an art object), while artistic judgement refers to the recognition, appreciation or criticism of art or an art work. The philosophical aesthetics has not only to speak about art and to produce judgments about the art works, but has also to give a definition of what art is. Art is an autonomous entity for the philosophy, because art deals with the senses (i. e. the etymology of aesthetics) and art is as such free of any moral or political purpose. Hence, there are two different conceptions of art in the aesthetics : art as knowledge or art as action, but aesthetics is neither epistemology nor ethics.[49]

What is "art"?
How best to define the term ÅartÇ is a subject of constant contention; many books and journal articles have been published arguing over even the basics of what we mean by the term ÅartÇ.[50] Theodor Adorno claimed in 1969 ÅIt is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident.Ç[51] [52] Artists, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and programmers all use the notion of art in their respective fields, and give it operational definitions that vary considerably. Furthermore, it is clear that even the basic meaning of the term "art" has changed several times over the centuries, and has continued to evolve during the 20th century as well.

Harmony of colors

The main recent sense of the word ÅartÇ is roughly as an abbreviation for creative art or Åfine art.Ç Here we mean that skill is being used to express the artistÄs creativity, or to engage the audienceÄs aesthetic sensibilities, or to draw the audience towards consideration of the ÅfinerÇ things. Often, if the skill is being used in a functional object, people will consider it a craft instead of art, a suggestion which is highly disputed by many Contemporary Craft thinkers. Likewise, if the skill is being used in a commercial or industrial way it may be considered design instead of art, or contrariwise these may be defended as art forms, perhaps called applied art. Some thinkers, for instance, have argued that the difference between fine art and applied art has more to do with the actual function of the object than any clear definitional difference.[53] Art usually implies no function other than to convey or communicate an idea. Even as late as 1912 it was normal in the West to assume that all art aims at beauty, and thus that anything that wasn't trying to be beautiful couldn't count as art. The cubists, dadaists, Stravinsky, and many later art movements struggled against this conception that beauty was central to the definition of art, with such success that, according to Danto, "Beauty had disappeared not only from the advanced art of the 1960Äs but from the advanced philosophy of art of that decade as well."[51] Perhaps some notion like "expression" (in CroceÄs theories) or "counter-environment" (in McLuhanÄs theory) can replace the previous role of beauty. Brian Massumi brought back "beauty" into consideration together with "expression".[54] Another view, as important to the philosophy of art as "beauty," is that

Aesthetics of the "sublime," elaborated upon in the twentieth century by the postmodern philosopher Jean-Franåois Lyotard. A further approach, elaborated by Andrã Malraux [55] in works such as The Voices of Silence, is that art is fundamentally a response to a metaphysical question ('Art', he writes, 'is an 'anti-destiny'). Malraux argues that, while art has sometimes been oriented towards beauty and the sublime (principally in post-Renaissance European art) these qualities, as the wider history of art demonstrates, are by no means essential to it.[56] Perhaps (as in Kennick's theory) no definition of art is possible anymore. Perhaps art should be thought of as a cluster of related concepts in a Wittgensteinian fashion (as in Weitz or Beuys). Another approach is to say that ÅartÇ is basically a sociological category, that whatever art schools and museums and artists define as art is considered art regardless of formal definitions. This "institutional definition of art" (see also Institutional Critique) has been championed by George Dickie. Most people did not consider the depiction of a Brillo Box or a store-bought urinal to be art until Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp (respectively) placed them in the context of art (i.e., the art gallery), which then provided the association of these objects with the associations that define art. Proceduralists often suggest that it is the process by which a work of art is created or viewed that makes it art, not any inherent feature of an object, or how well received it is by the institutions of the art world after its introduction to society at large. If a poet writes down several lines, intending them as a poem, the very procedure by which it is written makes it a poem. Whereas if a journalist writes exactly the same set of words, intending them as shorthand notes to help him write a longer article later, these would not be a poem. Leo Tolstoy, on the other hand, claims that what decides whether or not something is art is how it is experienced by its audience, not by the intention of its creator. Functionalists like Monroe Beardsley argue that whether or not a piece counts as art depends on what function it plays in a particular context; the same Greek vase may play a non-artistic function in one context (carrying wine), and an artistic function in another context (helping us to appreciate the beauty of the human figure). '


What should we judge when we judge art?
Art can be difficult at the metaphysical and ontological levels as well as at the value theory level. When we see a performance of Hamlet, how many works of art are we experiencing, and which should we judge? Perhaps there is only one relevant work of art, the whole performance, which many different people have contributed to, and which will exist briefly and then disappear. Perhaps the manuscript by Shakespeare is a distinct work of art from the play by the troupe, which is also distinct from the performance of the play by this troupe on this night, and all three can be judged, but are to be judged by different standards. Perhaps every person involved should be judged separately on his or her own merits, and each costume or line is its own work of art (with perhaps the director having the job of unifying them all). Similar problems arise for music, film, dance, and even painting. Is one to judge the painting itself, the work of the painter, or perhaps the painting in its context of presentation by the museum workers?

Nature provides aesthetic ideals.

These problems have been made even more difficult by the rise of conceptual art since the 1960s. WarholÄs famous Brillo Boxes are nearly indistinguishable from actual Brillo boxes at the time. It would be a mistake to praise Warhol for the design of his boxes (which were designed by Steve Harvey), yet the conceptual move of exhibiting these boxes as art in a museum together with other kinds of paintings is Warhol's. Are we judging WarholÄs concept? His execution of the concept in the medium? The curatorÄs insight in letting Warhol

Aesthetics display the boxes? The overall result? Our experience or interpretation of the result? Ontologically, how are we to think of the work of art? Is it a physical object? Several objects? A class of objects? A mental object? A fictional object? An abstract object? An event? Or simply an Act?


What should art be like?
Many goals have been argued for art, and aestheticians often argue that some goal or another is superior in some way. Clement Greenberg, for instance, argued in 1960 that each artistic medium should seek that which makes it unique among the possible mediums and then purify itself of anything other than expression of its own uniqueness as a form.[57] The Dadaist Tristan Tzara on the other hand saw the function of art in 1918 as the destruction of a mad social order. ÅWe must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits.Ç[58] Formal goals, creative goals, self-expression, political goals, spiritual goals, philosophical goals, and even more perceptual or aesthetic goals have all been popular pictures of what art should be like.

The value of art
Tolstoy defined art, and not incidentally characterized its value, this way: "Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them." The value of art, then, is one with the value of empathy. Other possible views are these: Art can act as a means to some special kind of knowledge. Art may give insight into the human condition. Art relates to science and religion. Art serves as a tool of education, or indoctrination, or enculturation. Art makes us more moral. It uplifts us spiritually. Art is politics by other means. Art has the value of allowing catharsis. In any case, the value of art may determine the suitability of an art form. Do they differ significantly in their values, or (if not) in their ability to achieve the unitary value of art? But to approach the question of the value of art systematically, one ought to ask: for whom? For the artist? For the audience? For society at large, and/or for individuals beyond the audience? Is the "value" of art different in each of these different contexts? Working on the intended value of art tends to help define the relations between art and other acts. Art clearly does have spiritual goals in many contexts, but what exactly is the difference between religious art and religion per se? The truth is complex; art is both useless in a functional sense, and also the most important human activity. An argument for the value of art, used in the fictional work 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy', proceeds that, should some external force presenting imminent destruction of Earth, ask the inhabitants, of what use is humanity, what should humanity's response be? The argument continues that the only justification humanity could give for its continued existence would be the past creation and continued creation of things like a Shakespeare play, a Rembrandt painting or a Bach concerto. The suggestion is that these are the things of value which define humanity.[59]



Aesthetic universals
The philosopher Denis Dutton identified seven universal signatures in human aesthetics:[60] 1. Expertise or virtuosity. Humans cultivate, recognize, and admire technical artistic skills. 2. Nonutilitarian pleasure. People enjoy art for art's sake, and don't demand that it keep them warm or put food on the table. 3. Style. Artistic objects and performances satisfy rules of composition that place them in a recognizable style. 4. Criticism. People make a point of judging, appreciating, and interpreting works of art. 5. Imitation. With a few important exceptions like abstract painting, works of art simulate experiences of the world. 6. Special focus. Art is set aside from ordinary life and made a dramatic focus of experience. It might be objected, however, that there are rather too many exceptions to Dutton's categories. For example, the installations of the contemporary artist Thomas Hirschhorn deliberately eschew technical virtuosity. People can appreciate a Renaissance Madonna for aesthetic reasons, but such objects often had (and sometimes still have) specific devotional functions. "Rules of composition" that might be read into Duchamp's Fountain or John Cage's 4'33" do not locate the works in a recognizable style (or certainly not a style recognizable at the time of the works' realisation). Moreover, some of Dutton's categories seem too broad: a physicist might entertain hypothetical worlds in his/her imagination in the course of formulating a theory. Another problem is that Dutton's categories seek to universalise traditional European notions of aesthetics and art forgetting that, as Andrã Malraux and others have pointed out, there have been large numbers of cultures in which such ideas (including the idea "art" itself) were non-existent.[61] Increasingly, academics in both the sciences and the humanities look to evolutionary psychology and cognitive science in an effort to understand the connection between psychology and aesthetics. Aside from Dutton, others exploring this realm include David Bordwell, Brian Boyd, Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Noel Carroll, Ellen Dissanayake, Nancy Easterlin, Bracha Ettinger, David Evans, Jonathan Gottschall, Torben Grodal, Paul Hernadi,, Patrick Hogan, Carl Plantinga, Rolf Reber, Elaine Scarry, Murray Smith, Wendy Steiner, Robert Storey, Frederick Turner, and Mark Turner.

The philosophy of aesthetics has been criticized by some sociologists and writers about art and society. Raymond Williams argues that there is no unique aesthetic object but a continuum of cultural forms from ordinary speech to experiences that are signaled as art by a frame, institution or special event. Pierre Bourdieu also takes issue with Kant's aesthetics and argues that it represents an experience that is the product of an elevated class habitus and scholarly leisure.

[1] Definition 1 of aesthetics (http:/ / www. merriam-webster. com/ dictionary/ aesthetics) from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online. [2] Zangwill, Nick. " Aesthetic Judgment (http:/ / plato. stanford. edu/ entries/ aesthetic-judgment/ )", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 02-28-2003/10-22-2007. Retrieved 07-24-2008. [3] Kelly (1998) p. ix [4] Review (http:/ / www. arlisna. org/ artdoc/ vol18/ iss2/ 01. pdf) by Tom Riedel (Regis University) [5] Definition of aesthetic (http:/ / www. etymonline. com/ index. php?term=aesthetic) from the Online Etymology Dictionary [6] Grotesque entry in Kelly 1998, pp.338-341 [7] Davies, Penelope J.E. Denny, Walter B. Hofrichter, Frima Fox. Jacobs, Joseph. Roberts, Ann M. Simon, David L. Janson's History of Art, Prentice Hall; 2007, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Seventh Edition, ISBN 0131934554 pg. 277 [8] The Arab Contribution to Islamic Art: From the Seventh to the Fifteenth Centuries (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=rpUuqLPPKK4C& dq=wijdan& printsec=frontcover& source=web& ots=QXySmKzsy6& sig=a9V6tTTfsrTT5Ex01QGnwrL7XYY), Wijdan Ali, American Univ in Cairo Press, December 10, 1999, ISBN 9774244761 [9] From the Literal to the Spiritual: The Development of the Prophet Muhammad's(s.a.w) Portrayal from 13th century Ilkhanid Miniatures to 17th century Ottoman Art (http:/ / www2. let. uu. nl/ solis/ anpt/ EJOS/ pdf4/ 07Ali. pdf), Wijdan Ali, EJOS (Electronic Journal of Oriental

Studies) (http:/ / www2. let. uu. nl/ Solis/ anpt/ ejos/ EJOS-1. html), volume IV, issue 7, p. 1-24, 2001 [10] "Oscar Wilde" by Richard Ellman p 159, pub Alfred A Knopf, INC. 1988 [11] Ellman, p164 [12] Green, Edward, "Donald Francis Tovey, Aesthetic Realism and the Need for a Philosophic Musicology," International Revue of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, 2005, p. 227. (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ pss/ 30032170?searchUrl=/ action/ doBasicSearch?acc=off& Query=%22The+ world%2C+ art%2C+ and+ self+ explain+ each+ other%22+ Eli+ Siegel& gw=jtx& prq=The+ world%2C+ art%2C+ AND+ self+ explain+ each+ other& Search=Search& hp=25& wc=on& acc=off& Search=yes) [13] Siegel, Eli, "Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?", Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism, 1955. (http:/ / www. jstor. org/ pss/ 425879?searchUrl=/ action/ doBasicSearch?acc=off& Query=%22the+ making+ one+ of+ opposites%22+ Eli+ Siegel& gw=jtx& prq=%22All+ beauty+ is+ a+ making+ one+ of+ opposites%22+ Eli+ Siegel& Search=Search& hp=25& wc=on& acc=off& Search=yes) [14] 'Kalliphobia in Contemporary Art' in Art Journal v. 63 no. 2 (Summer 2004) p. 24-35 [15] http:/ / www. home. netspeed. com. au/ derek. allan/ default. htm [16] Derek Allan, Art and the Human Adventure, Andrè Malraux's Theory of Art (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009) [17] Massumi, Brian, (ed.), A Shock to Thought. Expression after Deleuze and Guattari. London & NY: Routeledge, 2002. ISBN 0-415-23804-8 [18] Daniel Berlyne (1924-1976): Biographical Analysis. http:/ / www. psych. utoronto. ca/ users/ furedy/ daniel_berlyne. htm [19] Lyotard, Jean-Franåoise, What is Postmodernism?, in The Postmodern Condition, Minnesota and Manchester, 1984. [20] Lyotard, Jean-Franåoise, Scriptures: Diffracted Traces, in Theory, Culture and Society, Volume 21, Number 1, 2004. [21] Freud, Sigmund, "The Uncanny" (1919). Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Work of Sigmund Freud, 17:234-36. London: The Hogarth Press [22] Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (1964), "The Visible and the Invisible". Northwestern University Press. ISBN 0-810-10457-1 [23] Lacan, Jacques, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book VII), NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992. [24] A. Moles: Thèorie de l'information et perception esthètique, Paris, Denoèl, 1973 (Information Theory and aesthetical perception) [25] F Nake (1974). êsthetik als Informationsverarbeitung. (Aesthetics as information processing). Grundlagen und Anwendungen der Informatik im Bereich ësthetischer Produktion und Kritik. Springer, 1974, ISBN 3211812164, ISBN 9783211812167 [26] J. Schmidhuber. Low-complexity art. Leonardo, Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology, 30(2):97Ñ 103, 1997. http:/ / www. jstor. org/ pss/ 1576418 [27] J. Schmidhuber. Papers on the theory of beauty and low-complexity art since 1994: http:/ / www. idsia. ch/ ~juergen/ beauty. html [28] J. Schmidhuber. Facial beauty and fractal geometry. Cogprint Archive: http:/ / cogprints. soton. ac. uk , 1998 [29] J. Schmidhuber. Simple Algorithmic Principles of Discovery, Subjective Beauty, Selective Attention, Curiosity & Creativity. Proc. 10th Intl. Conf. on Discovery Science (DS 2007) p. 26-38, LNAI 4755, Springer, 2007. Also in Proc. 18th Intl. Conf. on Algorithmic Learning Theory (ALT 2007) p. 32, LNAI 4754, Springer, 2007. Joint invited lecture for DS 2007 and ALT 2007, Sendai, Japan, 2007. arXiv:0709.0674 [30] J. Schmidhuber. Curious model-building control systems. International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, Singapore, vol 2, 1458Ñ 1463. IEEE press, 1991 [31] J. Schmidhuber. Papers on artificial curiosity since 1990: http:/ / www. idsia. ch/ ~juergen/ interest. html [32] J. Schmidhuber. Developmental robotics, optimal artificial curiosity, creativity, music, and the fine arts. Connection Science, 18(2):173Ñ 187, 2006 [33] Schmidhuber's theory of beauty and curiosity in a German TV show: http:/ / www. br-online. de/ bayerisches-fernsehen/ faszination-wissen/ schoenheit--aesthetik-wahrnehmung-ID1212005092828. xml [34] Giannini AJ (December 1993). "Tangential symbols: using visual symbolization to teach pharmacological principles of drug addiction to international audiences". Journal of clinical pharmacology 33 (12): 1139Ñ PMIDé7510314. 46. [35] Moshagen, M. & Thielsch, M. T. (2010). Facets of visual aesthetics. In: International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 68 (10), 689-709. PDF (http:/ / www. thielsch. org/ download/ paper/ moshagen_2010. pdf) [36] Dewey, John. (1932)'Ethics', with James Tufts. In: The Collected Works of John Dewey, 1882-1953 Edited Jo-Ann Boydston: Carbonsdale: Southern Illinois University Press. p. 275. [37] Page, James S. (2008) Peace Education: Exploring Ethical and Philosophical Foundations. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59311-889-1. (http:/ / www. infoagepub. com/ products/ content/ p478d75b79b1ea. php) (http:/ / eprints. qut. edu. au/ 12263/ ) [38] Why Beauty Is Truth: The History of Symmetry, Ian Stewart, 2008 [39] Reber, R, Schwarz, N, Winkielman, P: "Processing fluency and aesthetic pleasure: Is beauty in the perceiver's processing experience?", Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8(4):364-382 [40] Reber, R, Brun, M, Mitterndorfer, K: "The use of heuristics in intuitive mathematical judgment", Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15(6):1174-1178 [41] "Aesthetic Quality Inference Engine - Instant Impersonal Assessment of Photos" (http:/ / acquine. alipr. com). Penn State University. . Retrieved 21 June 2009. [42] Manaris, B., Roos, P., Penousal, M., Krehbiel, D., Pellicoro, L. and Romero, J.; A Corpus-Based Hybrid Approach to Music Analysis and Composition; Proceedings of 22nd Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-07); Vancouver, BC; 839-845 2007. [43] Holm, Ivar (2006). Ideas and Beliefs in Architecture and Industrial design: How attitudes, orientations, and underlying assumptions shape the built environment. Oslo School of Architecture and Design. ISBN 8254701741. [44] Korsmeyer, Carolyn ed. Aesthetics: The Big Questions 1998 [45] Consider Clement GreenbergÄs arguments in "On Modernist Painting" (1961), reprinted in Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of Arts.


[46] Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgment. [47] Barnett Newman Foundation, Chronology, 1952 (http:/ / www. barnettnewman. org/ chronology. php) Retrieved August 30, 2010 [48] The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, By Arthur Coleman Danto, p.1, Published by Open Court Publishing, 2003, ISBN 0812695402, 9780812695403 [49] Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert, Introduction to Aesthetics (Einfêhrung in die ãsthetik), Munich, Wilhelm Fink, 1995, p. 7. [50] Davies, 1991, Carroll, 2000, et al. [51] Danto, 2003 [52] Goodman, [53] Novitz, 1992 [54] Brian Massumi, Deleuze, Guattari and the Philosophy of Expression, CRCL, 24:3, 1997. [55] http:/ / home. netspeed. com. au/ derek. allan/ default. htm [56] Derek Allan. Art and the Human Adventure. Andrè MalrauxÄs Theory of Art. (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2009) [57] Clement Greenberg, ÅOn Modernist PaintingÇ. [58] Tristan Tzara, Sept Manifestes Dada. [59] The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams [60] Denis Dutton's Aesthetic Universals summarized by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate [61] Derek Allan, Art and the Human Adventure: Andrè Malraux's Theory of Art. (Amsterdam: Rodopi. 2009)


Further reading
í Handbook of Phenomenological Aesthetics. Edited by Hans Rainer Sepp and Lester Embree. (Series: Contributions To Phenomenology, Vol. 59) Springer, Dordrecht / Heidelberg / London / New York 2010. ISBN 978-90-481-2470-1 í Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1997. í Derek Allan (, Art and the Human Adventure, Andre Malraux's Theory of Art, Rodopi, 2009 í Augros, Robert M., Stanciu, George N., The New Story of Science: mind and the universe, Lake Bluff, Ill.: Regnery Gateway, c1984. ISBN 0895268337 (has significant material on Art, Science and their philosophies) í John Bender and Gene Blocker Contemporary Philosophy of Art: Readings in Analytic Aesthetics 1993. í Christine Buci-Glucksmann (2003), Esthètique de l'èphèmëre, Galilãe. (French) í Noel Carroll (2000), Theories of Art Today, University of Wisconsin Press. í Benedetto Croce (1922), Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic. í E. S. Dallas (1866), The Gay Science, 2 volumes, on the aesthetics of poetry. í Danto, Arthur (2003), The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art, Open Court. í Stephen Davies (1991), Definitions of Art. í Terry Eagleton (1990), The Ideology of the Aesthetic. Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-16302-6 í Feagin and Maynard (1997), Aesthetics. Oxford Readers. í Penny Florence and Nicola Foster (eds.) (2000), Differential Aesthetics. London: Ashgate. ISBN 0-7546-1493-X í Berys Gaut and Dominic McIver Lopes (eds.), "Routledge Companion to Aesthetics". London: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0415327989 í Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert (1995), Einfêhrung in die ãsthetik, Munich, W. Fink. í David Goldblatt and Lee Brown, ed. (1997), Aesthetics: A Reader in the Philosophy of the Arts. í Greenberg, Clement (1960), "Modernist Painting", The Collected Essays and Criticism 1957-1969, The University of Chicago Press, 1993, 85-92. í Evelyn Hatcher (ed.), Art as Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art. 1999 í Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1975), Aesthetics. Lectures on Fine Art, trans. T.M. Knox, 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press. í Hans Hofmann and Sara T Weeks; Bartlett H Hayes; Addison Gallery of American Art; Search for the real, and other essays ( (Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1967) OCLC 1125858

Aesthetics í Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey (eds.), Art History and Visual Studies. Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-300-09789-1 í Kant, Immanuel (1790), Critique of Judgement, Translated by Werner S. Pluhar, Hackett Publishing Co., 1987. í Kelly, Michael (Editor in Chief) (1998) Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 4 voll., pp.éXVII-521, pp.é555, pp.é536, pp.é572; 2224 total pages; 100 b/w photos; ISBN 978-0-19-511307-5. Covers philosophical, historical, sociological, and biographical aspects of Art and Aesthetics worldwide. í Alexander J. Kent, "Aesthetics: A Lost Cause in Cartographic Theory?" The Cartographic Journal, 42(2) 182-8, 2005. í Sìren Kierkegaard (1843), Either/Or, translated by Alastair Hannay, London, Penguin, 1992 í Peter Kivy (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics. 2004 í Carolyn Korsmeyer (ed.), Aesthetics: The Big Questions. 1998 í Lyotard, Jean-Franåois (1979), The Postmodern Condition, Manchester University Press, 1984. í Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (1969), The Visible and the Invisible, Northwestern University Press. í Martinus Nijhoff, A History of Six Ideas: an Essay in Aesthetics, The Hague, 1980. í Novitz, David (1992), The Boundaries of Art. í Mario Perniola, The Art and Its Shadow, foreword by Hugh J.Silverman, translated by Massimo Verdicchio, London-NewYork, Continuum, 2004. í Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, 1974, paperpack, or hardback first edition ISBN 0-688-00230-7 í Griselda Pollock, "Does Art Think?" In: Dana Arnold and Margaret Iverson (eds.) Art and Thought. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2003. 129-174. ISBN 0-631-22715-6. í Griselda Pollock, Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum: Time, Space and the Archive. Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0415413745. í George Santayana (1896) , The Sense of Beauty. Being the Outlines of Aesthetic Theory. New York, Modern Library, 1955. í Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just. Princeton, 2001. ISBN 9780691089591 í Friedrich Schiller, (1795), On the Aesthetic Education of Man. Dover Publications, 2004. í Alan Singer & Allen Dunn (eds.), Literary Aesthetics: A Reader. Blackwell Publishing Limited, 2000. ISBN 978-0631208693 í Wîadysîaw Tatarkiewicz, History of Aesthetics, 3 vols. (1Ñ 1970; 3, 1974), The Hague, Mouton. 2, í Leo Tolstoy, What Is Art?, Penguin Classics, 1995. í The London Philosophy Study Guide ( offers many suggestions on what to read, depending on the student's familiarity with the subject: Aesthetics ( philosophy/LPSG/Aesthetics.htm) í John M. Valentine, Beginning Aesthetics: An Introduction To The Philosophy of Art. McGraw-Hill, 2006. ISBN 978-0073537542 von Vacano, Diego, "The Art of Power: Machiavelli, Nietzsche and the Making of Aesthetic Political Theory," Lanham MD: Lexington: 2007. í í í í Thomas Wartenberg, The Nature of Art. 2006. John Whitehead, Grasping for the Wind. 2001. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lectures on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief, Oxford, Blackwell, 1966. Richard Wollheim, Art and its objects, 2nd edn, 1980, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521 29706 0




External links
í í í í í Revue online Appareil ( Aesthetics ( entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy Postscript 1980- Some Old Problems in New Perspectives ( Aesthetics in Art Education: A Look Toward Implementation ( An history of aesthetics ( Revised_interpretation_of_founding's_and_concepts_through_an_history_of_aesthetics) í The Concept of the Aesthetic ( í Aesthetics ( entry in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy í Philosophy of Aesthetics ( entry in the Philosophy Archive

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, and even disciplines such as history and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations. Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science".[1] Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.

Clockwise from upper left: A self-portrait from Vincent van Gogh, an African Chokwe-statue, detail from the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli and a Japanese Shisa lion.

Philosopher Richard Wollheim distinguishes three approaches to assessing the aesthetic value of art: the realist, whereby aesthetic quality is an absolute value independent of any human view; the objectivist, whereby it is also an absolute value, but is dependent on general human experience; and the relativist position, whereby it is not an absolute value, but depends on, and varies with, the human experience of different humans.[2] An object may be characterized by the intentions, or lack thereof, of its creator, regardless of its apparent purpose. A cup, which ostensibly can be used as a container, may be considered art if intended solely as an ornament, while a painting may be deemed craft if mass-produced.

Art The nature of art has been described by Wollheim as "one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture".[3] It has been defined as a vehicle for the expression or communication of emotions and ideas, a means for exploring and appreciating formal elements for their own sake, and as mimesis or representation. Leo Tolstoy identified art as a use of indirect means to communicate from one person to another.[4] Benedetto Croce and R.G. Collingwood advanced the idealist view that art expresses emotions, and that the work of art therefore essentially exists in the mind of the creator.[5] [6] The theory of art as form has its roots in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and was developed in the early twentieth century by Roger Fry and Clive Bell. Art as mimesis or representation has deep roots in the philosophy of Aristotle.[4] More recently, thinkers influenced by Martin Heidegger have interpreted art as the means by which a community develops for itself a medium for self-expression and interpretation.[7]



Works of art worldwide can tell stories or simply express an aesthetic truth or feeling. Panorama of a section of A Thousand Li of Mountains and Rivers, a 12th-century painting by Song Dynasty artist Wang Ximeng. Britannica Online defines art as "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others." By this definition of the word, artistic works have existed for almost as long as humankind: from early pre-historic art to contemporary art; however, some theories restrict the concept to modern Western societies.[8] Adorno said in 1970, "It is now taken for granted that nothing which concerns art can be taken for granted any more: neither art itself, nor art in relationship to the whole, nor even the right of art to exist."[9] The first and broadest sense of art is the one that has remained closest to the older Latin meaning, which roughly translates to "skill" or "craft." A few examples where this meaning proves very broad include artifact, artificial, artifice, medical arts, and military arts. However, there are many other colloquial uses of the word, all with some relation to its etymology.

Art The second and more recent sense of the word art is as an abbreviation for creative art or fine art. Fine art means that a skill is being used to express the artist's creativity, or to engage the audience's aesthetic sensibilities, or to draw the audience towards consideration of the finer things. Often, if the skill is being used in a common or practical way, people will consider it a craft instead of art. Likewise, if the skill is being used in a commercial or industrial way, it will be considered commercial art instead of fine art. On the other hand, crafts and design are sometimes considered applied art. Some art followers have argued that the difference between fine art and applied art has more to do with value judgments made about the art than any clear definitional difference.[10] However, even fine art often has goals beyond pure creativity and self-expression. The purpose of works of art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically, spiritually, or philosophically motivated art; to create a sense of beauty (see aesthetics); to explore the nature of perception; for pleasure; or to generate strong emotions. The purpose may also be seemingly nonexistent. Art can describe several things: a study of creative skill, a 20th-century Rwandan bottle. Artistic works may serve practical process of using the creative skill, a product of the functions, in addition to their decorative value. creative skill, or the audience's experience with the creative skill. The creative arts (art as discipline) are a collection of disciplines (arts) that produce artworks (art as objects) that are compelled by a personal drive (art as activity) and echo or reflect a message, mood, or symbolism for the viewer to interpret (art as experience). Artworks can be defined by purposeful, creative interpretations of limitless concepts or ideas in order to communicate something to another person. Artworks can be explicitly made for this purpose or interpreted on the basis of images or objects. Art is something that stimulates an individual's thoughts, emotions, beliefs, or ideas through the senses. It is also an expression of an idea and it can take many different forms and serve many different purposes. Although the application of scientific knowledge to derive a new scientific theory involves skill and results in the "creation" of something new, this represents science only and is not categorized as art.




Sculptures, cave paintings, rock paintings, and petroglyphs from the Upper Paleolithic dating to roughly 40,000 years ago have been found, but the precise meaning of such art is often disputed because so little is known about the cultures that produced them. The oldest art objects in the worldÉa series of tiny, drilled snail shells about 75,000 years oldÉwere discovered in a South African cave.[11]

Venus of Willendorf, circa 24,000Ñ 22,000 BP.

Many great traditions in art have a foundation in the art of one of the great ancient civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, China, Ancient Greece, Rome, as well as Inca, Maya, and Olmec. Each of these centers of early civilization developed a unique and characteristic style in its art. Because of the size and duration of these civilizations, more of their art works have survived and more of their influence has been transmitted to other cultures and later times. Some also have provided the first records of how artists worked. For example, this period of Greek art saw a veneration of the human physical form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty, and anatomically correct proportions.

Cave painting of a horse from the Lascaux caves, c. 16,000 BP.

In Byzantine and Medieval art of the Western Middle Ages, much art focused on the expression of Biblical and nonmaterial truths, and used styles that showed the higher unseen glory of a heavenly world, such as the use of gold in the background of paintings, or glass in mosaics or windows, which also presented figures in idealized, patterned (flat) forms. Nevertheless a classical realist tradition persisted in small Byzantine works, and realism steadily grew in the art of Catholic Europe. Renaissance art had a greatly increased emphasis on the realistic depiction of the material world, and the place of humans in it, reflected in the corporeality of the human body, and development of a systematic method of graphical perspective to depict recession in a three-dimensional picture space.

Art In the east, Islamic art's rejection of iconography led to emphasis on geometric patterns, calligraphy, and architecture. Further east, religion dominated artistic styles and forms too. India and Tibet saw emphasis on painted sculptures and dance, while religious painting borrowed many conventions from sculpture and tended to bright contrasting colors with emphasis on outlines. China saw the flourishing of many art forms: jade carving, bronzework, pottery (including the stunning terracotta army of Emperor Qin), poetry, calligraphy, music, painting, drama, fiction, etc. Chinese styles vary greatly from era to era and each one is traditionally named after the ruling dynasty. So, for example, Tang Dynasty paintings are monochromatic and sparse, emphasizing idealized landscapes, but Ming Dynasty paintings are busy and colorful, and focus on telling stories via setting and composition. Japan names its styles after imperial dynasties too, and also saw much interplay between the styles of calligraphy and painting. Woodblock printing became important in Japan after the 17th century.


The stylized signature of Sultan Mahmud II of the Ottoman Empire was written in Arabic calligraphy. It reads Mahmud Khan son of Abdulhamid is forever victorious.

The Great Mosque of Kairouan (also called the Mosque of Uqba) is one of the finest, most significant and best preserved artistic and architectural examples of early great mosques; dated in its present state from the 9th century, it is the ancestor and model of all the [12] mosques in the western Islamic lands. The Great Mosque of Kairouan is located in the city of Kairouan in Tunisia.

The western Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century saw artistic depictions of physical and rational certainties of the clockwork universe, as well as politically revolutionary visions of a post-monarchist world, such as Blake's portrayal of Newton as a divine geometer, or David's propagandistic paintings. This led to Romantic rejections of this in favor of pictures of the emotional side and individuality of humans, exemplified in the novels of Goethe. The late 19th century then saw a host of artistic movements, such as academic art, Symbolism, impressionism and fauvism among others. The history of twentieth century art is a narrative of endless possibilities and the search for new standards, each being torn down in succession by the next. Thus the parameters of Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, etc. cannot be

Painting by Song Dynasty artist Ma Lin, c. 1250. 24,8 ï 25,2 cm.

Art maintained very much beyond the time of their invention. Increasing global interaction during this time saw an equivalent influence of other cultures into Western art, such as Pablo Picasso being influenced by African sculpture. Japanese woodblock prints (which had themselves been influenced by Western Renaissance draftsmanship) had an immense influence on Impressionism and subsequent development. Later, African sculptures were taken up by Picasso and to some extent by Matisse. Similarly, the west has had huge impacts on Eastern art in the 19th and 20th centuries, with originally western ideas like Communism and Post-Modernism exerting a powerful influence on artistic styles. Modernism, the idealistic search for truth, gave way in the latter half of the 20th century to a realization of its unattainability. Relativism was accepted as an unavoidable truth, which led to the period of contemporary art and postmodern criticism, where cultures of the world and of history are seen as changing forms, which can be appreciated and drawn from only with irony. Furthermore the separation of cultures is increasingly blurred and some argue it is now more appropriate to think in terms of a global culture, rather than regional cultures.


Art tends to facilitate intuitive rather than rational understanding, and is usually consciously created with this intention. Fine art intentionally serves no other purpose. As a result of this impetus, works of art are elusive, refractive to attempts at classification, because they can be appreciated in more than one way, and are often susceptible to many different interpretations. In the case of Gãricault's Raft of the Medusa, special knowledge concerning the shipwreck that the painting depicts is not a prerequisite to appreciating it, but allows the appreciation of Gãricault's political intentions in the piece. Even art that superficially depicts a mundane event or object, may invite reflection upon elevated themes. Traditionally, the highest achievements of art demonstrate a high level of ability or fluency within a medium. This characteristic might be considered a point of contention, since many modern artists (most notably, conceptual artists) do not themselves create the works they conceive, or do not even create the work in a conventional, demonstrative sense. Art has a transformative capacity: it confers particularly appealing or aesthetically satisfying structures or forms upon an original set of unrelated, passive constituents.

Forms, genres, media, and styles
The creative arts are often divided into more specific categories, each related to its technique, or medium, such as decorative arts, plastic arts, performing arts, or literature. Unlike scientific fields, art is one of the few subjects that are academically organized according to technique [13]. An artistic medium is the substance or material the artistic work is made from, and may also refer to the technique used. For example, paint is a medium used in painting, and paper is a medium used in drawing. An art form is the specific shape, or quality an artistic expression takes. The media used often influence the form. For example, the form of a sculpture must exist in space in three dimensions, and respond to gravity. The constraints and limitations of a particular medium are thus called its formal qualities. To give another example, the formal Detail of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, qualities of painting are the canvas texture, color, and brush texture. showing the painting technique of sfumato. The formal qualities of video games are non-linearity, interactivity and virtual presence. The form of a particular work of art is determined by the formal qualities of the media, and is not related to the intentions of the artist or the reactions of the audience in any way what so ever.

Art A genre is a set of conventions and styles within a particular medium. For instance, well recognized genres in film are western, horror and romantic comedy. Genres in music include death metal and trip hop. Genres in painting include still life and pastoral landscape. A particular work of art may bend or combine genres but each genre has a recognizable group of conventions, clichãs and tropes. (One note: the word genre has a second older meaning within painting; genre painting was a phrase used in the 17th to 19th centuries to refer specifically to paintings of scenes of everyday life and can still be used in this way.) The style of an artwork, artist, or movement is the distinctive method and form followed by the respective art. Any loose brushy, dripped or poured abstract painting is called expressionistic. Often a style is linked with a particular historical period, set of ideas, and particular artistic movement. So Jackson Pollock is called an Abstract Expressionist. Because a particular style may have specific cultural meanings, it is important to be sensitive to differences in technique. Roy Lichtenstein's (1923Ñ 1997) paintings are not pointillist, despite his uses of dots, because they are not aligned with the original proponents of Pointillism. Lichtenstein used Ben-Day dots: they are evenly spaced and create flat areas of color. Dots of this type, used in halftone printing, were originally used in comic strips and newspapers to reproduce color. Lichtenstein thus uses the dots as a style to question the "high" art of painting with the "low" art of comics Ñto comment on class distinctions in culture. Lichtenstein is thus associated with the American Pop art movement (1960s). Pointillism is a technique in late Impressionism (1880s), developed especially by the artist Georges Seurat, that employs dots that are spaced in a way to create variation in color and depth in an attempt to paint images that were closer to the way people really see color. Both artists use dots, but the particular style and technique relate to the artistic movement adopted by each artist.


The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai (Japanese, 1760Ñ 1849), colored woodcut print.

These are all ways of beginning to define a work of art, R. Gopakumar: Cognition-Libido (Digital Print on Canvas, Limited to narrow it down. "Imagine you are an art critic whose Edition, 1/7) In the permanent collection of the Kinsey Institute for mission is to compare the meanings you find in a wide Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction range of individual artworks. How would you proceed with your task? One way to begin is to examine the materials each artist selected in making an object, image video, or event. The decision to cast a sculpture in bronze, for instance, inevitably effects its meaning; the work becomes something different from how it might be if it had been cast in gold or plastic or chocolate, even if everything else about the artwork remains the same. Next, you might examine how the materials in each artwork have become an arrangement of shapes, colors, textures, and lines. These, in turn, are organized into various patterns and compositional structures. In your interpretation, you would comment on how salient features of the form contribute to the overall meaning of the finished artwork. [But in the end] the meaning of most artworks... is not exhausted by a discussion of materials, techniques, and form. Most interpretations also include a discussion of the ideas and feelings

Art the artwork engenders."[14]


Skill and craft
Art can connote a sense of trained ability or mastery of a medium. Art can also simply refer to the developed and efficient use of a language to convey meaning with immediacy and or depth. Art is an act of expressing feelings, thoughts, and observations.[15] There is an understanding that is reached with the material as a result of handling it, which facilitates one's thought processes. A common view is that the epithet "art", particular in its elevated sense, requires a certain level of creative expertise by the artist, whether this be a demonstration of technical ability or an originality in stylistic approach such as in the plays of Shakespeare, or a combination of these two. Traditionally skill of execution was Adam. Detail from Michelangelo's fresco in the viewed as a quality inseparable from art and thus necessary for its Cappella Sistina (1511) success; for Leonardo da Vinci, art, neither more nor less than his other endeavors, was a manifestation of skill. Rembrandt's work, now praised for its ephemeral virtues, was most admired by his contemporaries for its virtuosity. At the turn of the 20th century, the adroit performances of John Singer Sargent were alternately admired and viewed with skepticism for their manual fluency, yet at nearly the same time the artist who would become the era's most recognized and peripatetic iconoclast, Pablo Picasso, was completing a traditional academic training at which he excelled. A common contemporary criticism of some modern art occurs along the lines of objecting to the apparent lack of skill or ability required in the production of the artistic object. In conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" is among the first examples of pieces wherein the artist used found objects ("ready-made") and exercised no traditionally recognised set of skills. Tracey Emin's My Bed, or Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living follow this example and also manipulate the mass media. Emin slept (and engaged in other activities) in her bed before placing the result in a gallery as work of art. Hirst came up with the conceptual design for the artwork but has left most of the eventual creation of many works to employed artisans. Hirst's celebrity is founded entirely on his ability to produce shocking concepts. The actual production in many conceptual and contemporary works of art is a matter of assembly of found objects. However there are many modernist and contemporary artists who continue to excel in the skills of drawing and painting and in creating hands-on works of art.



Value judgment
Somewhat in relation to the above, the word art is also used to apply judgments of value, as in such expressions as "that meal was a work of art" (the cook is an artist), or "the art of deception", (the highly attained level of skill of the deceiver is praised). It is this use of the word as a measure of high quality and high value that gives the term its flavor of subjectivity. Making judgments of value requires a basis for criticism. At the simplest level, a way to determine whether the impact of the object on the senses meets the criteria to be considered art is whether it is perceived to be attractive or repulsive. Though perception is always colored by experience, and is necessarily subjective, it is commonly understood that what is not somehow aesthetically satisfying cannot be art. However, "good" art is not always or even regularly aesthetically appealing to a majority of viewers. In other words, an artist's prime motivation need not be the pursuit of the aesthetic. Also, art often depicts terrible images made for social, moral, or Aboriginal hollow log tombs. National thought-provoking reasons. For example, Francisco Goya's painting depicting Gallery, Canberra, Australia. the Spanish shootings of 3rd of May 1808 is a graphic depiction of a firing squad executing several pleading civilians. Yet at the same time, the horrific imagery demonstrates Goya's keen artistic ability in composition and execution and produces fitting social and political outrage. Thus, the debate continues as to what mode of aesthetic satisfaction, if any, is required to define 'art'. The assumption of new values or the rebellion against accepted notions of what is aesthetically superior need not occur concurrently with a complete abandonment of the pursuit of what is aesthetically appealing. Indeed, the reverse is often true, that the revision of what is popularly conceived of as being aesthetically appealing allows for a re-invigoration of aesthetic sensibility, and a new appreciation for the standards of art itself. Countless schools have proposed their own ways to define quality, yet they all seem to agree in at least one point: once their aesthetic choices are accepted, the value of the work of art is determined by its capacity to transcend the limits of its chosen medium to strike some universal chord by the rarity of the skill of the artist or in its accurate reflection in what is termed the zeitgeist. Art is often intended to appeal to and connect with human emotion. It can arouse aesthetic or moral feelings, and can be understood as a way of communicating these feelings. Artists express something so that their audience is aroused to some extent, but they do not have to do so consciously. Art may be considered an exploration of the human condition; that is, what it is to be human.[16]



Purpose of art
Art has had a great number of different functions throughout its history, making its purpose difficult to abstract or quantify to any single concept. This does not imply that the purpose of Art is "vague", but that it has had many unique, different reasons for being created. Some of these functions of Art are provided in the following outline. The different purposes of art may be grouped according to those that are non-motivated, and those that are motivated (Levi-Strauss).

Non-motivated functions of art
The non-motivated purposes of art are those that are integral to being human, transcend the individual, or do not fulfill a specific external purpose. Aristotle said, "Imitation, then, is one instinct of our nature." [17] In this sense, Art, as creativity, is something humans must do by their very nature (i.e., no other species creates art), and is therefore beyond utility. 1. Basic human instinct for harmony, balance, rhythm. Art at this level is not an action or an object, but an internal appreciation of balance and harmony (beauty), and therefore an aspect of being human beyond utility. "Imitation, then, is one instinct of our nature. Next, there is the instinct for 'harmony' and rhythm, meters being manifestly sections of rhythm. Persons, therefore, starting with this natural gift developed by degrees their special aptitudes, till their rude improvisations gave birth to Poetry." -Aristotle [18] 2. Experience of the mysterious. Art provides a way to experience one's self in relation to the universe. This experience may often come unmotivated, as one appreciates art, music or poetry. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." -Albert Einstein [19]
A Navajo rug made c. 1880.

Mozarabic Beatus miniature; Spain, late 10th

century. 3. Expression of the imagination. Art provide a means to express the imagination in non-grammatic ways that are not tied to the formality of spoken or written language. Unlike words, which come in sequences and each of which have a definite meaning, art provides a range of forms, symbols and ideas with meanings that are maleable.

"Jupiter's eagle [as an example of art] is not, like logical (aesthetic) attributes of an object, the concept of the sublimity and majesty of creation, but rather something else Ñsomething that gives the imagination an incentive to spread its flight over a whole host of kindred representations that provoke more thought than admits of expression in a concept determined by words. They furnish an aesthetic idea, which serves the above rational idea as a substitute for logical presentation, but with the proper function, however, of animating the mind by opening out for it a prospect into a field of kindred representations stretching beyond its ken." -Immanuel Kant[20]

Art 4. Universal communication. Art allows the individual to express things toward the world as a whole. Earth artists often create art in remote locations that will never be experienced by another person. The practice of placing a cairn, or pile of stones at the top of a mountain, is an example. (Note: This need not suggest a particular view of God, or religion.) Art created in this way is a form of communication between the individual and the world as a whole. 5. Ritualistic and symbolic functions. In many cultures, art is used in rituals, performances and dances as a decoration or symbol. While these often have no specific utilitarian (motivated) purpose, anthropologists know that they often serve a purpose at the level of meaning within a particular culture. This meaning is not furnished by any one individual, but is often the result of many generations of change, and of a cosmological relationship within the culture. "Most scholars who deal with rock paintings or objects recovered from prehistoric contexts that cannot be explained in utilitarian terms and are thus categorized as decorative, ritual or symbolic, are aware of the trap posed by the term 'art'." -Silva Tomaskova[21]


Motivated functions of art
Motivated purposes of art refer to intentional, conscious actions on the part of the artists or creator. These may be to bring about political change, to comment on an aspect of society, to convey a specific emotion or mood, to address personal psychology, to illustrate another discipline, to (with commercial arts) to sell a product, or simply as a form of communication. 1. Communication. Art, at its simplest, is a form of communication. As most forms of communication have an intent or goal directed toward another individual, this is a motivated purpose. Illustrative arts, such as scientific illustration, are a form of art as communication. Maps are another example. However, the content need not be scientific. Emotions, moods and feelings are also communicated through art. "[Art is a set of] artefacts or images with symbolic meanings as a means of communication." -Steve Mithen[22] 2. Art as entertainment. Art may seek to bring about a particular emotion or mood, for the purpose of relaxing or entertaining the viewer. This is often the function of the art industries of Motion Pictures and Video Games. 3. The Avante-Garde. Art for political change. One of the defining functions of early twentieth century art has been to use visual images to bring about political change. Art movements that had this goalÉDadaism, Surrealism, Russian Constructivism, and Abstract Expressionism, among othersÉare collectively referred to as the avante-garde arts. "By contrast, the realistic attitude, inspired by positivism, from Saint Thomas Aquinas to Anatole France, clearly seems to me to be hostile to any intellectual or moral advancement. I loathe it, for it is made up of mediocrity, hate, and dull conceit. It is this attitude which today gives birth to these ridiculous books, these insulting plays. It constantly feeds on and derives strength from the newspapers and stultifies both science and art by assiduously flattering the lowest of tastes; clarity bordering on stupidity, a dog's life." -Andrã Breton (Surrealism)[23] 4. Art for psychological and healing purposes. Art is also used by art therapists, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists as art therapy. The Diagnostic Drawing Series, for example, is used to determine the personality and emotional functioning of a patient. The end product is not the principal goal in this case, but rather a process of healing, through creative acts, is sought. The resultant piece of artwork may also offer insight into the troubles experienced by the subject and may suggest suitable approaches to be used in more conventional forms of psychiatric therapy. 5. Art for social inquiry, subversion and/or anarchy. While similar to art for political change, subversive or deconstructivist art may seek to question aspects of society without any specific political goal. In this case, the function of art may be simply to criticize some aspect of society.



Spray-paint graffiti on a wall in Rome.

Graffiti art and other types of street art are graphics and images that are spray-painted or stencilled on publicly viewable walls, buildings, buses, trains, and bridges, usually without permission. Certain art forms, such as graffiti, may also be illegal when they break laws (in this case vandalism). 6. Art for propaganda, or commercialism. Art is often utilized as a form of propaganda, and thus can be used to subtly influence popular conceptions or mood. In a similar way, art that tries to sell a product also influences mood and emotion. In both cases, the purpose of art here is to subtly manipulate the viewer into a particular emotional or psychological response toward a particular idea or object.[24] The functions of art described above are not mutually exclusive, as many of them may overlap. For example, art for the purpose of entertainment may also seek to sell a product, i.e. the movie or video game.

Controversial art
Thãodore Gãricault's Raft of the Medusa (c. 1820), was a social commentary on a current event, unprecedented at the time. ñdouard Manet's Le Dèjeuner sur l'Herbe (1863), was considered scandalous not because of the nude woman, but because she is seated next to men fully dressed in the clothing of the time, rather than in robes of the antique world. John Singer Sargent's Madame Pierre Gautreau (Madam X) (1884), caused a huge uproar over the reddish pink used to color the woman's ear lobe, considered far too suggestive and supposedly ruining the high-society model's reputation.

Thãodore Gãricault's Raft of the Medusa, c. 1820

In the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso's Guernica (1937) used arresting cubist techniques and stark monochromatic oils, to depict the harrowing consequences of a contemporary bombing of a small, ancient Basque town. Leon Golub's Interrogation III (1981), depicts a female nude, hooded detainee strapped to a chair, her legs open to reveal her sexual organs, surrounded by two tormentors dressed in everyday clothing. Andres Serrano's Piss Christ (1989) is a photograph of a crucifix, sacred to the Christian religion and representing Christ's sacrifice and final suffering, submerged in a glass of the artist's own urine. The resulting uproar led to comments in the United States Senate about public funding of the arts.



Art theories
In the nineteenth century, artists were primarily concerned with ideas of truth and beauty. The aesthetic theorist John Ruskin, who championed what he saw as the naturalism of J. M. W. Turner, saw art's role as the communication by artifice of an essential truth that could only be found in nature.[25] The definition and evaluation of art has become especially problematic since the 20th century. Richard Wollheim distinguishes three approaches: the Realist, whereby aesthetic quality is an absolute value independent of any human view; the Objectivist, whereby it is also an absolute value, but is dependent on general human experience; and the Relativist position, whereby it is not an absolute value, but depends on, and varies with, the human experience of different humans.[26] The arrival of Modernism in the late nineteenth century lead to a radical break in the conception of the function of art,[27] and then again in the late twentieth century with the advent of postmodernism. Clement Greenberg's 1960 article "Modernist Painting" defines modern art as "the use of characteristic methods of a discipline to criticize the discipline itself".[28] Greenberg originally applied this idea to the Abstract Expressionist movement and used it as a way to understand and justify flat (non-illusionistic) abstract painting: Realistic, naturalistic art had dissembled the medium, using art to conceal art; modernism used art to call attention to art. The limitations that constitute the medium of painting Ñthe flat surface, the shape of the support, the properties of the pigment É were treated by the Old Masters as negative factors that could be acknowledged only implicitly or indirectly. Under Modernism these same limitations came to be regarded as positive factors, and were acknowledged openly.[28] After Greenberg, several important art theorists emerged, such as Michael Fried, T. J. Clark, Rosalind Krauss, Linda Nochlin and Griselda Pollock among others. Though only originally intended as a way of understanding a specific set of artists, Greenberg's definition of modern art is important to many of the ideas of art within the various art movements of the 20th century and early 21st century. Pop artists like Andy Warhol became both noteworthy and influential through work including and possibly critiquing popular culture, as well as the art world. Artists of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s expanded this technique of self-criticism beyond high art to all cultural image-making, including fashion images, comics, billboards and pornography.

Classification disputes
Disputes as to whether or not to classify something as a work of art are referred to as classificatory disputes about art. Classificatory disputes in the 20th century have included cubist and impressionist paintings, Duchamp's Fountain, the movies, superlative imitations of banknotes, conceptual art, and video games.[29] Philosopher David Novitz has argued that disagreement about the definition of art are rarely the heart of the problem. Rather, "the passionate concerns and interests that humans vest in their social life" are "so much a part of all classificatory disputes about art" (Novitz, 1996). According to Novitz, classificatory disputes are more often disputes about societal values and where society is trying to go than they are about theory proper. For example, when the Daily Mail criticized Hirst's and Emin's work by arguing "For 1,000 years art has been one of our great civilising forces. Today, pickled sheep and soiled beds threaten to make barbarians of us all" they are not advancing a definition or theory about art, but questioning the value of Hirst's and Emin's work.[30] In 1998, Arthur Danto, suggested a thought experiment showing that "the status of an artifact as work of art results from the ideas a culture applies to it, rather than its inherent physical or perceptible qualities. Cultural interpretation (an art theory of some kind) is therefore constitutive of an object's arthood."[31] [32] Anti-art is a label for art that intentionally challenges the established parameters and values of art;[33] it is term associated with Dadaism and attributed to Marcel Duchamp just before World War I,[33] when he was making art

Art from found objects.[33] One of these, Fountain (1917), an ordinary urinal, has achieved considerable prominence and influence on art.[33] Anti-art is a feature of work by Situationist International,[34] the lo-fi Mail art movement, and the Young British Artists,[33] though it is a form still rejected by the Stuckists,[33] who describe themselves as anti-anti-art.[35] [36]


Art, class, and value
Art is sometimes perceived as belonging exclusively to higher social classes. In this context, art is seen as an upper-class activity associated with wealth, the ability to purchase art, and the leisure required to pursue or enjoy it. The Palace of Versailles and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg illustrate this view: such vast collections of art are the preserve of the rich, of governments and wealthy organizations.

Versailles: Louis Le Vau opened up the interior court to create the expansive entrance cour d'honneur, later copied all over Europe.

Fine and expensive goods have been popular markers of status in many cultures, and they continue to be so today. There has been a cultural push in the other direction since at least 1793, when the Louvre, which had been a private palace of the Kings of France, was opened to the public as an art museum during the French Revolution. Most modern public museums and art education programs for children in schools can be traced back to this impulse to have art available to everyone. Museums in the United States tend to be gifts from the very rich to the masses (The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, for example, was created by John Taylor Johnston, a railroad executive whose personal art collection seeded the museum.) But despite all this, at least one of the important functions of art in the 21st century remains as a marker of wealth and social status. There have been attempts by artists to create art that can not be bought by the wealthy as a status object. One of the prime original motivators of much of the art of the late 1960s and 1970s was to create art that could not be bought and sold. It is "necessary to present something more than mere objects"[37] said the major post war German artist Joseph Beuys. This time period saw the rise of such things as performance art, video art, and conceptual art. The idea was that if the artwork was a performance that would leave nothing behind, or was simply an idea, it could not be bought and sold. "Democratic precepts Performance by Joseph Beuys, 1978 : Everyone an artist Å On the way to the libertarian form of revolving around the idea that a work of art is a commodity impelled the social organism. the aesthetic innovation which germinated in the mid-1960s and was reaped throughout the 1970s. Artists broadly identified under the heading of Conceptual art... substituting performance and publishing activities for engagement with both the material and materialistic concerns of painted or sculptural form... [have] endeavored to undermine the art object qua object."[38] In the decades since, these ideas have been somewhat lost as the art market has learned to sell limited edition DVDs of video works,[39] invitations to exclusive performance art pieces, and the objects left over from conceptual pieces. Many of these performances create works that are only understood by the elite who have been educated as to why an idea or video or piece of apparent garbage may be considered art. The marker of status becomes understanding the work instead of necessarily owning it, and the artwork remains an upper-class activity. "With the widespread use of

Art DVD recording technology in the early 2000s, artists, and the gallery system that derives its profits from the sale of artworks, gained an important means of controlling the sale of video and computer artworks in limited editions to collectors."[40]


[1] Gombrich, Ernst. (2005). "Press statement on The Story of Art" (http:/ / www. gombrich. co. uk/ showdoc. php?id=68). The Gombrich Archive. . Retrieved 2008-11-18. [2] Wollheim 1980, op. cit. Essay VI. pp. 231Ñ 39. [3] Richard Wollheim, Art and its objects, p.1, 2nd edn, 1980, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521297060 [4] Jerrold Levinson, The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics, Oxford university Press, 2003, p5. ISBN 0-1992-7945-4 [5] Jerrold Levinson, The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics, Oxford university Press, 2003, p16. ISBN 0-1992-7945-4 [6] R.G. Collingwood's view, expressed in The Principles of Art, is considered in Wollheim, op. cit. 1980 pp 36Ñ 43 [7] Martin Heidegger, "The Origin of the Work of Art", in Poetry, Language, Thought, (Harper Perenniel, 2001). See also Maurice Merleau-Ponty, "Cãzanne's Doubt" in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader, Galen Johnson and Michael Smith (eds), (Northwestern University Press, 1994) and John Russon, Bearing Witness to Epiphany, (State University of New York Press, 2009). [8] Elkins, James "Art History and Images That Are Not Art", The Art Bulletin, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Dec. 1995), with previous bibliography. "Non-Western images are not well described in terms of art, and neither are medieval paintings that were made in the absence of humanist ideas of artistic value". 553 [9] Adorno, Theodor W., Aesthetic Theory, (1970 in German) [10] David Novitz, "The Boundaries of Art", 1992 [11] Radford, Tim. " World's Oldest Jewellery Found in Cave (http:/ / education. guardian. co. uk/ higher/ artsandhumanities/ story/ 0,12241,1193237,00. html)". Guardian Unlimited, April 16, 2004. Retrieved on January 18, 2008. [12] John Stothoff Badeau and John Richard Hayes, The Genius of Arab civilization: source of Renaissance. Taylor & Francis. 1983. p. 104 (http:/ / books. google. fr/ books?id=IaM9AAAAIAAJ& pg=PA104& dq=oleg+ grabar+ kairouan+ mosque& cd=3#v=onepage& q=oleg grabar kairouan mosque& f=false) [13] http:/ / www. rchoetzlein. com/ quanta/ theory/ theory-new-media. htm [14] Robertson, Jean and Craig McDaniel: Themes of Contemporary Art, Visual Art after 1980, page 4. Oxford University Press, 2005. [15] Breskin, Vladimir, Triad: Method for studying the core of the semiotic parity of language and art (http:/ / vip. iva. dk/ signs/ Articles_Signs_International_Section/ 2010/ Breskin_(2010)_Signs_Triad_eng_final_rev_2010. pdf), Signs ÑInternational Journal of Semiotics 3, pp.1Ñ 2010. ISSN: 1902-8822 28, [16] Graham, Gordon (2005). Philosophy of the arts: an introduction to aesthetics. Taylor & Francis. [17] Aristotle. The Poetics, Republic [18] Aristotle. The Poetics, Republic. Note: Although speaking mostly of poetry here, the Ancient greeks often speak of the arts collectively. http:/ / www. authorama. com/ the-poetics-2. html [19] Einstein, Albert. The World as I See It. http:/ / www. aip. org/ history/ einstein/ essay. htm [20] Immanuel Kant, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement (1790). [21] Silvia Tomaskova, "Places of Art: Art and Archaeology in Context": (1997) [22] Steve Mithen. The Prehistory of the Mind: The Cognitive Origins of Art, Religion and Science. 1999 [23] Andrã Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924) [24] Roland Barthes, Mythologies [25] "go to nature in all singleness of heart, rejecting nothing and selecting nothing, and scorning nothing, believing all things are right and good, and rejoicing always in the truth." Ruskin, John. Modern Painters, Volume I, 1843. London: Smith, Elder and Co. [26] Wollheim 1980, Essay VI. pp. 231Ñ 39. [27] Griselda Pollock, Differencing the Canon. Routledge, London & N.Y.,1999. ISBN 0-415-06700-6 [28] Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology. ed. Francis Frascina and Charles Harrison, 1982. [29] Deborah Solomon, "2003: the 3rd Annual Year in Ideas: Video Game Art", New York Times, Magazine Section, December 14, 2003 [30] Painter, Colin. "Contemporary Art and the Home". Berg Publishers, 2002. p. 12. ISBN 1-8597-3661-0 [31] Dutton, Denis Tribal Art (http:/ / www. denisdutton. com/ tribal_art. htm) in Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, edited by Michael Kelly (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998). [32] Danto, Arthur. "Artifact and Art." In Art/Artifact, edited by Susan Vogel. New York, 1988. [33] "Glossary: Anti-art" (http:/ / www. tate. org. uk/ collections/ glossary/ definition. jsp?entryId=571), Tate. Retrieved 23 January 2010. [34] Schneider, Caroline. "Asger Jorn" (http:/ / www. encyclopedia. com/ doc/ 1G1-78637292. html), Artforum, 1 September 2001. Retrieved from, 24 January 2010. [35] Ferguson, Euan. "In bed with Tracey, Sarah ... and Ron" (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ artanddesign/ 2003/ apr/ 20/ thesaatchigallery. art2), The Observer, 20 April 2003. Retrieved on 2 May 2009. [36] "Stuck on the Turner Prize" (http:/ / www. artnet. com/ Magazine/ news/ artnetnews/ artnetnews10-27-00. asp), artnet, 27 October 2000. Retrieved on 2 May 2009.

[37] Sharp, Willoughby (December 1969). "An Interview with Joseph Beuys". ArtForum 8 (4): 45. [38] Rorimer, Anne: New Art in the 60s and 70s Redefining Reality, page 35. Thames and Hudson, 2001. [39] Fineman, Mia (2007-03-21). "YouTube for ArtistsThe best places to find video art online." (http:/ / www. slate. com/ id/ 2162382/ ). Slate. . Retrieved 2007-08-03. [40] Robertson, Jean and Craig McDaniel: Themes of Contemporary Art, Visual Art after 1980, page 16. Oxford University Press, 2005.


í í í í í í í í í í í Arthur Danto, The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art. 2003 Dana Arnold and Margaret Iverson (eds.) Art and Thought. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2003. Michael Ann Holly and Keith Moxey (eds.) Art History and Visual Studies. Yale University Press, 2002. John Whitehead. Grasping for the Wind. 2001 Noel Carroll, Theories of Art Today. 2000 Evelyn Hatcher, ed. Art as Culture: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Art. 1999 Catherine de Zegher (ed.). Inside the Visible. MIT Press, 1996. Nina, Felshin, ed. But is it Art? 1995 Stephen Davies, Definitions of Art. 1991 Oscar Wilde, "Intentions". Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel, "Themes of Contemporary Art, Visual Art after 1980." 2005

Further reading
í Augros, Robert M., Stanciu, George N., The New Story of Science: mind and the universe, Lake Bluff, Ill.: Regnery Gateway, c1984. ISBN 0895268337 (this book has significant material on Art and Science) í Richard Wollheim, Art and its Objects í Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols í Benedetto Croce, Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic, 1902 í Wîadysîaw Tatarkiewicz, A History of Six Ideas: an Essay in Aesthetics, translated from the Polish by Christopher Kasparek, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1980. í Leo Tolstoy, What Is Art?, 1897 í Kleiner, Gardner, Mamiya and Tansey (2004). Art Through the Ages, Twelfth Edition (2 volumes). Wadsworth. ISBNé0-534-64095-8 (vol 1) and ISBN 0-534-64091-5 (vol 2). í Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, eds., Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

External links
í Art and Play from the Dictionary of the History of ideas ( cgi?id=dv1-17) í In-depth directory of art ( í Art and Artist Files in the Smithsonian Libraries Collection ( art-design/artandartistfiles/) (2005) Smithsonian Digital Libraries í Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) ( Ñonline collections from UK museums, galleries, universities í RevolutionArt ÑArt magazines with worldwide exhibitions, callings and competitions (http://www. í Artforum magazine Ñonline art reviews Ñalso previews of upcoming exhibitions ( í Article on the meaning of Art in Ancient India ( htm) on the website of Frontline

Art í The Definition of Art ( entry by Thomas Adajian in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy


Article Sources and Contributors


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