4th Edition

Aesthetics A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts

    558 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    558 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts, fourth edition, contains a selection of ninety-six readings organized by individual art forms as well as a final section of readings in philosophical aesthetics that cover multiple art forms. Sections include topics that are familiar to students such as painting, photography and movies, architecture, music, literature, and performance, as well as contemporary subjects such as mass art, popular arts, the aesthetics of the everyday, and the natural environment. Essays are drawn from both the analytic and continental traditions, and multiple others that bridge this divide between these traditions. Throughout, readings are brief, accessible for undergraduates, and conceptually focused, allowing instructors many different syllabi possibilities using only this single volume.


    Key Additions to the Fourth Edition

    The fourth edition is expanded to include a total of ninety-six essays with nineteen new essays (nine of them written exclusively for this volume), updated organization into new sections, revised introductions to each section, an increased emphasis on contemporary topics, such as stand-up comedy, the architecture of museums, interactivity and video games, the ethics of sexiness, trans/gendered beauty, the aesthetics of junkyards and street art, pornography, and the inclusion of more diverse philosophical voices. Nevertheless, this edition does not neglect classic writers in the traditional aesthetics: Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Collingwood, Bell, and writers of similar status in aesthetics. The philosophers writing new chapters exclusively for this fourth edition are:

    • Sondra Bacharach on street art

    • Aili Bresnahan on appreciating dance

    • Hina Jamelle on digital architecture

    • Jason Leddington on magic

    • Sheila Lintott on stand-up comedy

    • Yuriko Saito on everyday aesthetics

    • Larry Shiner on art spectacle museums in the twenty-first century

    • Peg Brand Weiser on how beauty matters

    • Edward Winters on the feeling of being at home in vernacular architecture, as in such urban places as bars.


    Table of contents


    Special Acknowledgements for the 4th Edition

    General Introduction

    Part 1: Painting

    Against Imitation


    The Limits of Likeness

    Ernst Gombrich

    Reality Remade

    Nelson Goodman

    The "Perfect" Fake

    Nelson Goodman

    Artistic Crimes

    Denis Dutton

    Form in Modern Painting

    Clive Bell

    A Formal Analysis

    Edmund Burke Feldman

    Intentional Visual Interest

    Michael Baxandall

    Works of Art and Mere Real Things

    Arthur C. Danto

    The Origin of the Work of Art

    Martin Heidegger

    Why Are There No Great Women Artists?

    Linda Nochlin

    Painting and Ethics

    A. W. Eaton

    Art and Corruption

    David Alfaro Siqueiros


    Part II: Photography and Moving Pictures

    The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

    Walter Benjamin

    Transparent Pictures

    Kendall L. Walton

    Why Photography Does Not Represent Artistically

    Roger Scruton

    The Hubble Photographs as Aesthetic Objects

    Flo Leibowitz

    Architectural Photography: The "Urban Photogénie" of Architainment

    Jennifer Burris

    How Beauty Matters

    Peg Brand Weiser

    Allegory of the Cave


    Towards an Ontology of the Moving Image

    Noël Carroll

    Moving Pictures

    Arthur C. Danto

    Woman as Image, Man as Bearer of the Look

    Laura Mulvey

    Beauty and Evil: The Case of Leni Riefenstahl

    Mary Devereaux

    The Last King of Scotland—The Ethics of Race on Film

    Paul C. Taylor


    Part III: Architecture

    The Problem of Architecture

    Roger Scruton

    Home is Where the Heart Is: Taking Architecture Personally

    Edward Winters

    Ornament and Crime: Tattoos

    Adolf Loos

    Towards an Architecture

    Le Corbusier

    Architecture as Decorated Shelter

    Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

    A Discussion of Architecture (with Christopher Norris)

    Jacque Derrida

    How to Experience Architecture

    Jenefer Robinson

    Spectacular vs. Deferential Art Museums in the 21st Century

    Larry Shiner

    Architectural Ghosts

    Jeanette Bicknell

    Digital Architecture and the New Elegance

    Hina Jamelle


    Part IV: Music

    On the Concept of Music

    Jerrold Levinson

    Ontology of Music

    Ben Caplan and Carl Matheson

    Making Tracks: The Ontology of Rock Music

    Andrew Kania

    Is Live Music Dead?

    Lee B. Brown

    The Expression of Emotion in Music

    Stephen Davies

    Representation in Music

    Roger Scruton

    Sound and Semblance

    Peter Kivy

    African Music

    John Miller Chernoff

    Jazz and Language

    Robert Kraut

    A Topography of Musical Improvisation

    Philip Alperson

    Fakin’ It: Is There Authenticity in Commercial Music?

    Theodore Gracyk

    Can White People Sing the Blues?

    Joel Rudinow

    Social Consciousness in Dancehall Reggae

    Anita M. Waters     


    Part V: Literature

    What is Literature?

    Terry Eagleton

    The Poetic Expression of Emotion

    R. G. Colingwood

    The Paradox of Expression

    Garry L. Hagberg

    The Intention of the Author

    Monroe C. Beardsley

    What is an Author?

    Michel Foucault

    Criticism as Retrieval

    Richard Wollheim

    Beneath Interpretation

    Richard Shusterman

    The Art of Writing

    Lu Chi

    How to Eat a Chinese Poem

    Richard Bodman

    Imagination and Make-Believe

    Gregory Currie


    Part VI: Performance



    On Tragedy


    The Birth of Tragedy

    Friedrich Nietzsche

    What Is Going On in a Dance?

    Monroe C. Beardsley

    Working and Dancing

    Noël Carroll and Sally Banes

    Appreciating Dance: The View from the Audience

    Aili Bresnahan

    Literature as a Performing Art

    J. O. Urmson

    The Artwork as Performance

    David Davies

    Why (not) Philosophy of Stand-up Comedy?

    Sheila Lintott

    Ventriloquism and Art

    David Goldblatt

    Magic: The Art of the Impossible

    Jason Leddington


    Part VII: Mass Art

    Defining Mass Art

    Noël Carroll

    Plato and the Mass Media

    Alexander Nehamas

    Adorno’s Case Against Popular Music

    Lee B. Brown

    In Defense of Popular Arts

    Richard Shusterman

    Television and Aesthetics

    Umberto Eco

    Relating Comics, Cartoons, and Animation

    Henry John Pratt

    Videogames, Interactivity and Art

    Grant Tavinor

    Is It Only a Game? The Ethics of Video Game Play

    Stephanie Patridge


    Part VIII: Nature and Everyday Aesthetics

    Aesthetic Appreciation of the Natural Environment

    Allen Carlson

    Everyday Aesthetics

    Yuriko Saito


    Robert Solomon

    The Aesthetics of Junkyards

    Thomas Leddy

    Nonsense in Public Places: Songs of Black Vocal Rhythm and Blues or Doo-Wop

    David Goldblatt

    Street Art

    Sondra Bacharach


    Ted Cohen

    Racist Humor

    Luvell Anderson

    A Sensible Anti-Porn Feminism

    A. W. Eaton

    Falling in Lust: Sexiness, Feminism, and Pornography

    Hans Maes


    Part IX: Art in General

    Of the Standard of Taste

    David Hume

    The Sublime

    Edmund Burke

    Judgments about the Beautiful

    Immanuel Kant

    The Philosophy of Fine Art

    G. W. F. Hegel

    Aesthetic Concepts

    Frank Sibley

    Categories of Art

    Kendall L. Walton

    The Role of Theory in Aesthetics

    Morris Weitz

    Art and Natural Selection

    Denis Dutton

    Feminism in Context

    Peg Brand Weiser



    David Goldblatt is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Denison University, the author of Art and Ventriloquism in Routledge’s Critical Voices Series, and co-editor of The Aesthetics of Architecture: Philosophical Investigations into the Art of Building, and has written numerous essays in the academic and popular press.

    Lee B. Brown (1932–2014) was Professor of Philosophy at The Ohio State University and the author of many articles on a wide range of philosophical subjects, including popular music, recorded music, and jazz.

    Stephanie Patridge is a Professor of Philosophy at Otterbein University. Her research focuses on aesthetic properties, and moral evaluation in imaginative contexts.

    "This 4th Edition offers broad coverage of many fascinating contemporary topics while also including some of the key works in the history of aesthetics. This text demonstrates the vibrancy of aesthetics today without losing sight of its past."

    --Christopher Bartel, Appalachian State University


    "I’ve long considered Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts to be the best collection for undergraduate philosophy of art classes because of the breadth of its readings, and because of its excellent coverage of recent debates in the arts. The fourth edition builds on these strengths, expanding its coverage of contemporary topics."

    --Joshua Shaw, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College


    "The editors have  have imaginatively selected essays both canonical and offbeat from diverse traditions. This anthology would be engaging and accessible to undergraduates of all levels and majors, as it shows the importance of Aesthetics to everyday life, as well as  to philosophy and culture. It is an outstanding new contribution to the pedagogical literature in the field."

    --Carol S. Gould, Florida Atlantic University