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<ul><li>Sociology, Art & Culture </li></ul><ul><li>(SOCY100012) </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture 2:  </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy...
<ul><li>Philosophy and art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Art tends to rebel against scientific images of the world, while sociol...
Metaphysical Conceptions of Art   Art as beauty From Plato, philosophers have argued that art exists as beauty that elevat...
Metaphysical Conceptions of Art Art as the imitation of nature A conception of art in which nature exists as the image of ...
Metaphysical Conceptions of Art Art as aesthetic experience   Derived from the Greek  aisthesis –  the study of  pleasure ...
Kant: Aesthetics & Art Immanuel Kant  (1724-1804) –  The Critique of Judgement  (1790) Can we have knowledge of art that i...
Kant: Aesthetics & Art Where Hume sees the experience of beauty as merely subjective, Kant sees it as a logical judgment (...
<ul><li>Kant: Aesthetics & Art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [W]hile it is true that beauty needs to be appreciated subjectively...
<ul><li>Kant: Aesthetics & Art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [For Kant] a judgement of beauty is a disinterested, universal, and...
<ul><li>Kant: Aesthetics & Art </li></ul><ul><li>What is important is form not content – this avoids criticisms of subject...
Kant: Aesthetics & Art Kant argued that in affirming ‘a judgement of taste’, the individual making the judgement was not m...
Philosophy and Art: Kant Kant has been used to explain the aesthetic value of post-impressionist art, such as the work of ...
Kasimir Malevich –  Black Square and Red Square  (1915)  Oil on canvas (71.4 x 44.4cm)  Georges Braque –  Woman with a Gui...
 
Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art Georg W.F. Hegel  (1770-1831)  –  Phenomenology of Spirit   (1807) ,  Encyclopedia...
Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art For Hegel, the human spirit manifested in art in an evolutionary manner The histor...
Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art Early civilisations – symbolic art – tension between idea  and form (distorted rep...
<ul><li>Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art </li></ul><ul><li>Romantic (all art since Greek times)  </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art For Hegel, art has been overtaken by religion and philosophy in terms of being abl...
Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art Art is seen as a representation of human self understanding – it is a stage prior ...
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  1. 1. <ul><li>Sociology, Art & Culture </li></ul><ul><li>(SOCY100012) </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy and art: the aesthetic, beauty, </li></ul><ul><li>and the end of art? </li></ul><ul><li>Neil McPherson </li></ul><ul><li>School of Social Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Room: A820 </li></ul><ul><li>Tel: 01698 283100 x8479 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: neil.mcpherson@uws.ac.uk </li></ul>Pablo Picasso – Guernica (1937) Oil on canvas (349 x 776cm) Dec 2, 2011
  2. 2. <ul><li>Philosophy and art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Art tends to rebel against scientific images of the world, while sociology tends to thrive on demystifying the enchanting in social life. Art tends to revolt against materialistic explanations of life, while sociology tends to exult in exposing singular and unique as socially constructed and socially reproduced” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Harrington 2004: 9) </li></ul><ul><li>The philosophical understanding of art pre-dates the sociological conception of art that emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries </li></ul><ul><li>The philosophers constructed ‘metaphysical conceptions’ of art that did not consider the historical and social nature of art </li></ul><ul><li>In these conceptions art is seen as timeless and asocial </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  3. 3. Metaphysical Conceptions of Art   Art as beauty From Plato, philosophers have argued that art exists as beauty that elevates the mind, allowing individuals to gain knowledge of the beauty and unchanging nature of the cosmos Compositions were hierarchised – historical, mythological and biblical scenes portraiture & landscape realistic scenes of ‘daily life’ Plato viewed beauty as eternal, absolute and transcendent – a view that is not compatible with modern concepts of beauty
  4. 4. Metaphysical Conceptions of Art Art as the imitation of nature A conception of art in which nature exists as the image of perfection and art imitates that perfection – the doctrine of mimesis Reproduction of reality – trompe d’oeil & the doctrine of illusionism (influential during the Renaissance) However, in the same way that ideas of beauty change historically, so to different cultures represent nature differently   As the Enlightenment grew in influence, the aforementioned doctrines became less influential and the focus shifted to a humanly subjective understanding of beauty & engagement with art. (see Harrington 2004)
  5. 5. Metaphysical Conceptions of Art Art as aesthetic experience   Derived from the Greek aisthesis – the study of pleasure in perfection Aesthetics – a branch of philosophy focused on the concepts of beauty and taste – focused on experiencing pleasure in sensory objects – concerned with judgements of taste in relation to ‘works of art’ The Age of Enlightenment and Romanticism – human rationality and emotion   The external world engaged in the mind rather than directly through sense perceptions (we know more than the objects around us – value, belief & tradition) Ideas & idealism – search for objective, universal knowledge in human thought (see Grenfell & Hardy 2007; Harrington 2004)
  6. 6. Kant: Aesthetics & Art Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) – The Critique of Judgement (1790) Can we have knowledge of art that is prior to experience? Taste & beauty – part of Kant’s wider philosophical system Nature is God’s “unfathomably great art” (Kant 1987: 334) For Kant beauty is a judgment – that is, it is not a fixed concept Taste – individual’s subjective feeling of pleasure of the object – sensory pleasure – judgments of taste are produced by pleasure, unlike moral judgements or judgments of fact  
  7. 7. Kant: Aesthetics & Art Where Hume sees the experience of beauty as merely subjective, Kant sees it as a logical judgment (this differs from his early discussions of beauty and taste)   Exercise of rational judgment Act of sensuous feeling Expression of personal feeling Act of the mind AESTHETIC JUDGEMENT ART
  8. 8. <ul><li>Kant: Aesthetics & Art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [W]hile it is true that beauty needs to be appreciated subjectively, when we see beautiful things we are aware that the pleasure we derive from them is not a function of something peculiar to us, some ‘personal condition to which our subjective self might alone be party’” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Graham 2005: 18) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Aesthetic judgment is thus to be distinguished (1) from a judgment of fact because it is subjective, (2) from the merely subjective because it commands the assent of others, (3) from a judgement grounded in practical rationality because the beautiful has no practical purpose, and (4) from the fanciful or superficially attractive because it has the mark of purposefulness” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Graham 2005: 18) </li></ul><ul><li>Sensus commnis – common sensitive nature </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Kant: Aesthetics & Art </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [For Kant] a judgement of beauty is a disinterested, universal, and necessary judgment concerning the pleasure that everyone ought to derive from the experience of a form of purpose” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Dickie 1997: 22) </li></ul><ul><li>Disinterestedness – focus solely on appearance of art object itself – no attempt to locate meaning in wider context </li></ul><ul><li>Universality – since the experience of beauty is not subjective beauty is evident to all </li></ul><ul><li>Necessity – when we identify something as beautiful we demand that everyone agrees as its beauty is identifiable to all – although not everyone will agree </li></ul><ul><li>Form of purpose – focuses on the object – purposiviness without purpose </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Kant: Aesthetics & Art </li></ul><ul><li>What is important is form not content – this avoids criticisms of subjectivity – therefore the aesthetic beauty of the art work is ahistorical (timeless) and asocial </li></ul><ul><li>For Kant the art object is an end in itself and is without purpose – its aesthetic beauty is inherent in the form of the work itself and evident through judgments of taste </li></ul><ul><li>The possession of true ‘genius’ allows the exhibition of ‘aesthetic ideas’ – innate ideas of imagination and understanding not constrained by other thoughts or concepts – the capacity to create new rules and not follow existing ones – to create art outside of external determination and constraint </li></ul><ul><li>(see Gaiger 2002) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Kant: Aesthetics & Art Kant argued that in affirming ‘a judgement of taste’, the individual making the judgement was not making any claim as to the objects value, or its moral worth or practical use He was simply referring to the pleasure it brought to the senses through ‘disinterested contemplation’ Building on Kant, Clive Bell (1914) argues that artistic quality is located in the ‘significant form’ of the art work, rather than any narrative or representational content Greenberg (1986-93) adds historical concept – he states that by continually removing and excluding all links to external conditions and concerns, art can be ‘purified’ – only accessible through the aesthetic beauty of its form
  12. 12. Philosophy and Art: Kant Kant has been used to explain the aesthetic value of post-impressionist art, such as the work of Cezanne and Gauguin, where form is emphasised over representational depiction (Bell 1914; Fry 1920) Paul Cezanne - Château Noir   (1900-04) Oil on canvas (73.7 x 96.6 cm)
  13. 13. Kasimir Malevich – Black Square and Red Square (1915) Oil on canvas (71.4 x 44.4cm) Georges Braque – Woman with a Guitar (1913) Oil and charcoal on canvas (130 x 73 cm)
  14. 15. Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art Georg W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) – Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) , Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1817) Rather than individual’s response to beauty (Kant), Hegel focused on content and meaning of art works Art operates on the level of sensuous experience and reveals comprehensive truth of position of humanity – like religion & philosophy Art is externalised human self consciousness Focuses on artistic beauty as above natural beauty – it can be philosophised Hegel’s aesthetics provide the ‘cornerstone of the discipline of art history’ (Geczy 2008: 107)  
  15. 16. Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art For Hegel, the human spirit manifested in art in an evolutionary manner The history of art represented of the history of man Art identified the progression of the human spirit towards self-awareness Art, therefore, was teleologically progressive – working towards an endpoint where man would fully know himself as the true nature of the spirit was revealed Productive tension in the idea and form of the art work –– each can be inadequate in themselves and in relation to each other  
  16. 17. Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art Early civilisations – symbolic art – tension between idea and form (distorted representations of God) – form did not fulfil idea Classical (Greek) – unity of idea and form – the idea represented through the idealised human form – unity of religious awareness and artistic expression – highest level of art
  17. 18. <ul><li>Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art </li></ul><ul><li>Romantic (all art since Greek times) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>growing tension between religious awareness and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>artistic expression (idea and form) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>growing inwardness and self reflection (understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of humanity’s relationship with God located in realm of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>thought rather than physical expression) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the image can no longer truly represent the idea </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Art can no longer articulate the content it aspires to </li></ul>Carl Gustav Carus (1869) Das Kolosseum in einer Mondnach Caspar David Friedrich (1818) Chalk Cliffs on Rügen
  18. 19. Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art For Hegel, art has been overtaken by religion and philosophy in terms of being able to articulate and examine human existence – art is no longer seen as divine revelation Art now something that philosophy can examine and explain (see Cheetham 2001; Gaiger 2002)  
  19. 20. Hegel: The Aesthetic and the End of Art Art is seen as a representation of human self understanding – it is a stage prior to philosophy Art is the product of its age and the ideas of that age Hegel linked art to historical context for the first time through philosophical discussion Showed the historically located nature of the production and appreciation of art works In contrast to Kant, Hegel identifies the importance of content and form (rather than just form) and identifies the historically located nature of art (against the concept of historical aesthetic beauty) Both influential in the emergence of art history as a discipline and also in sociology’s engagement with art  
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