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Textbook

Philosophical Aesthetics: An Introduction

Oswald Hanfling (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-18035-7
528 pages
April 1992, ©1992, Wiley-Blackwell
Philosophical Aesthetics: An Introduction (0631180354) cover image
This volume contains surveys of the main issues in philosophical aesthetics, as discussed by thinkers from ancient Greece to modern times. It is written by members of the Open University and the intention throughout is to make the issues intelligible and interesting to as wide an audience as possible, including those readers with a general interest in the arts as well as more advanced students.
The volume begins with questions about the nature of art and beauty. Are there any limitations to what may count as a work of art? Are imitations and forgeries really less valuable than original works? This is followed by discussions of aesthetic experience, truth and the 'imitation of nature' in works of art. In later chapters the emphasis is on the value and evaluation of art. Should art exist for the good of society? What justification is there for censorship in the case of pornography? The final chapters deal with Marxist theories of art, and with structuralist and post-structuralist views in recent continental writings.
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Acknowledgements.

Introduction.

Part I: What is Art?:.

1. The Concept of Art: Oswald Hanfling (Open University).

2. Aesthetic Qualities: Oswald Hanfling (Open University).

3. The Ontology of Art: Oswald Hanfling (Open University).

Part II: Art and Feeling:.

4. Aesthetic Experience: Diane Collinson (Open University).

5. Expression and Creativity (Robert Wilkinson, Staff Tutor, Open University).

Part III: Art, World and Society:.

6. Truth and Representation: Rosalind Hursthouse (Open University).

7. Art, Society and Morality: Tom Sorell.

Part IV: The Evaluation of Art:.

8. Evaluation, Objectivity and Subjectivity: Colin Lyas (Lancaster University).

9. Criticism and Interpretation: Colin Lyas (Lancaster University).

10. Continental Aesthetics: Stuart Sim (Open University).

11. Marxist Aesthetics: Stuart Sim (Open University).

Index.
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Oswald Hanfling is the author of Logical Positivism (1981), The Quest for Meaning (1987), and Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy (1989).
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  • A complete introduction to the main issues of philosophical aesthetics from ancient Greece to modern times.
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"This new introduction, however, deserves to be a winner. If it does not exactly supersede all previous introductions, it can reasonably be regarded, for the present at any rate, as some kind of primus inter pares. An excellent book of its kind, and one which I intend to adopt as a set textbook. Not the least of its merits is that, despite its length, and even though it incorporates several plates, four of them in colour, it is within the price range that students (and, nowadays, academics) can afford." Journal of Aesthetics
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