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Article: Aesthetics


Etymology and History of Aesthetics

  • The word 'aesthetic' is derived from the Ancient Greek αἰσθητικός (aisthētikós, perceptive, sensitive, pertaining to sensory perception).
  • The term 'aesthetics' was coined by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten in 1735.
  • Baumgarten chose aesthetics to emphasize the experience of art as a means of knowing.
  • The term was introduced into the English language by Thomas Carlyle in 1825.
  • The philosophy of art as aesthetics can be traced back to Aristotle and the ancient Greeks.
  • Aristotle stated that various art forms are acts of mimesis, imitating nature through different mediums.
  • Different art forms have highly structured procedures for achieving their purposes, such as rhythm and harmony in music, rhythm in dance, and language in poetry.
  • Erich Auerbach further discussed the history of aesthetics in his book 'Mimesis.'

Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art

  • Some distinguish aesthetics from the philosophy of art, but aesthetics considers questions of beauty and art.
  • Aesthetic experience refers to the sensory contemplation or appreciation of an object, while artistic judgement refers to the recognition, appreciation, or criticism of art.
  • Aesthetics examines topics such as art works, aesthetic experience, and aesthetic judgement.
  • Philosophers of art study the varieties of art in relation to their physical, social, and cultural environments.
  • Aesthetic psychology studies the creative process and the aesthetic experience.

Aesthetic Judgement, Universals, and Ethics

  • Aesthetics examines affective domain response to an object or phenomenon.
  • Judgements of aesthetic value rely on sensory discrimination but usually go beyond it.
  • Delicacy of taste involves the ability to detect all the ingredients in a composition and sensitivity to both pleasure and pain.
  • Enjoyment arises from sensation, but judging something to be beautiful requires reflective contemplation.
  • Viewer interpretations of beauty may possess concepts of value: aesthetics and taste.
  • Judgements of beauty are sensory, emotional, and intellectual all at once.
  • Kant observed that beauty is subjective and universal, with certain things being beautiful to everyone.
  • Władysław Tatarkiewicz identified six conditions for the presentation of art, including beauty, form, representation, reproduction of reality, and artistic expression.
  • Taste is a result of an education process and awareness of elite cultural values.
  • Bourdieu examined how exposure to different cultural values can result in variations in taste based on class, cultural background, and education.

Factors Influencing Aesthetic Judgment

  • Cultural reactions shape aesthetic judgments.
  • Aesthetic judgments are influenced by regional responses.
  • Awe can physically manifest through increased heart-rate or pupil dilation.
  • Dissonance can trigger aesthetic judgments.
  • Aesthetic regionalism is a political stance against universal notions of beauty.

Relationship Between Aesthetics and Emotions

  • Aesthetic judgments can be partially embodied in physical reactions.
  • Emotions are conformed to cultural reactions.
  • Awe can be inspired by a sublime landscape.
  • Aesthetic judgments can evoke awe or other emotional responses.

Aesthetic Regionalism

  • Francis Grose was the first critical aesthetic regionalist.
  • Aesthetic regionalism challenges the universality of aesthetics.
  • Aesthetic regionalism safeguards the counter-tradition of aesthetics.
  • Aesthetic regionalism opposes the concept of beauty as a dictatorship.
  • Aesthetic regionalism embraces what is considered un-beautiful in certain cultures.
  • Aesthetic regionalism can be seen as a political statement.
  • Aesthetic regionalism protects non-traditional forms of art.
  • Aesthetic regionalism opposes the notion of beauty as universal.
  • Aesthetic regionalism encompasses primitive art and camp art.
  • Aesthetic regionalism challenges the concept of harmonious and cathartic art.

Aesthetics Data Sources

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