Art and Ethics in a Material World

Kant’s Pragmatist Legacy

By Jennifer A McMahon

© 2014 – Routledge

234 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138943964
pub: 2015-07-16
US Dollars$44.95
Hardback: 9780415504522
pub: 2013-08-08
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

In this book, McMahon argues that a reading of Kant’s body of work in the light of a pragmatist theory of meaning and language (which arguably is a Kantian legacy) leads one to put community reception ahead of individual reception in the order of aesthetic relations. A core premise of the book is that neo-pragmatism draws attention to an otherwise overlooked aspect of Kant’s "Critique of Aesthetic Judgment," and this is the conception of community which it sets forth.

While offering an interpretation of Kant’s aesthetic theory, the book focuses on the implications of Kant’s third critique for contemporary art. McMahon draws upon Kant and his legacy in pragmatist theories of meaning and language to argue that aesthetic judgment is a version of moral judgment: a way to cultivate attitudes conducive to community, which plays a pivotal role in the evolution of language, meaning, and knowledge.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Ethical Dimension of Art 2. Perceiving Intention in Order 3. Finding Fault with Feeling 4. Reasoning Our Way to Pleasure 5. Talking Morals 6. Imagining Freedom 7. Cultivating Genius 8. Meaning and Morals: A Post-Kantian Conception of Art and Community

About the Author

Jennifer A. McMahon is Associate Professor in Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Ethics and Moral Theory

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Criticism & Theory
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy