Skip to main content


A Companion to Aesthetics, 2nd Edition



In this extensively revised and updated edition, 168 alphabetically arranged articles provide comprehensive treatment of the main topics and writers in this area of aesthetics.
  • Written by prominent scholars covering a wide-range of key topics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art
  • Features revised and expanded entries from the first edition, as well as new chapters on recent developments in aesthetics and a larger number of essays on non-Western thought about art
  • Unique to this edition are six overview essays on the history of aesthetics in the West from antiquity to modern times
Contributors xi

Preface xv

Historical Overviews 1

art of the Paleolithic Gregory Currie 1

aesthetics in antiquity Stephen Halliwell 10

medieval and renaissance aesthetics John Marenbon 22

eighteenth-century aesthetics Paul Guyer 32

nineteenth- and twentieth-century Continental aesthetics Robert Wicks 51

twentieth-century Anglo-American aesthetics Stephen Davies & Robert Stecker 61

The Arts 74

architecture Edward Winters 74

dance Julie Van Camp 76

drama James Hamilton 78

drawing, painting, and printmaking Patrick Maynard 82

literature David Davies 85

motion pictures Noël Carroll 88

music and song John Andrew Fisher and Stephen Davies 91

opera Paul Thom 95

photography Patrick Maynard 98

poetry Anna Christina Ribeiro 101

sculpture Erik Koed 104

A 107
abstraction Robert Hopkins 107
Adorno, Theodor W(iesengrund) Paul Mattick 109
aesthetic attitude David E. Cooper 111
aesthetic education Pradeep A. Dhillon 114
aesthetic judgment Andrew Ward 117
aesthetic pleasure Jerrold Levinson 121
aesthetic properties Alan H. Goldman 124
aestheticism David Whewell 128
aesthetics of food and drink Carolyn Korsmeyer 131
aesthetics of the environment Allen Carlson 134
aesthetics of the everyday Sherri Irvin 136
African aesthetics John Ayotunde (Tunde) Isola Bewaji 139
Amerindian aesthetics Anthony K. Webster 142
Aquinas, Thomas John Haldane 145
Aristotle Stephen Halliwell 147
art history David Carrier 149
artifact, art as George Dickie & Robert Stecker 152
"artworld" Anita Silvers 155
authenticity and art Theodore Gracyk 156

B 160
Barthes, Roland Mary Bittner Wiseman 160
Baumgarten, Alexander G(ottlieb) Nicholas Davey 162
Beardsley, Monroe C(urtis) Donald Callen 163
beauty Mary Mothersill 166
Bell, (Arthur) Clive (Heward) Ronald W. Hepburn 172
Benjamin, Walter Martin Donougho 174
Burke, Edmund Patrick Gardiner 177

C 179
canon Stein Haugom Olsen 179
catharsis Stephen Halliwell 182
Cavell, Stanley Timothy Gould 183
censorship Bernard Williams 185
Chinese aesthetics Marthe Chandler 188
cognitive science and art William P. Seeley 191
cognitive value of art Matthew Kieran 194
Collingwood, R(obin) G(eorge) Michael Krausz 197
comedy Noël Carroll 199
conceptual art Peter Goldie 202
conservation and restoration David Carrier 205
creativity Berys Gaut 207
critical monism and pluralism Robert Kraut 211
criticism Michael Weston 215
Croce, Benedetto Douglas R. Anderson 219
cultural appropriation James O. Young 222

D 226
Danto, Arthur C(oleman) David Novitz & Stephen Davies 226
deconstruction Stuart Sim 229
definition of "art" Kathleen Stock 231
Deleuze, Gilles Nicholas Davey 234
depiction Katerina Bantinaki 238
Derrida, Jacques Mary Bittner Wiseman 241
Dewey, John Thomas M. Alexander 244
Dickie, George Noël Carroll 247
Dufrenne, Mikel Wojciech Chojna & Irena Kocol 249

E 252
emotion Malcolm Budd 252
erotic art and obscenity Matthew Kieran 256
evolution, art, and aesthetics Stephen Davies 259
expression Derek Matravers 261
expression theory Derek Matravers 264

F 267
feminist aesthetics Peg Zeglin Brand 267
feminist criticism Renée Lorraine & Peg Zeglin Brand 269
feminist standpoint aesthetics A. W. Eaton 272
fiction, nature of Robert Stecker 275
fiction, the paradox of responding to Alex Neill 278
fiction, truth in Paisley Livingston 281
fictional entities Diane Proudfoot 284
forgery Robert Hopkins 287
formalism Nick Zangwill 290
Foucault, Michel Robert Wicks 293
function of art David Novitz 297

G 302
Gadamer, Hans-Georg Robert Bernasconi 302
gardens David E. Cooper 304
genre Andrew Harrison 306
Gombrich, Sir Ernst (Hans Josef) David E. Cooper 308
Goodman, Nelson Catherine Z. Elgin 311

H 314
Hanslick, Eduard Malcolm Budd 314
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Gary Shapiro 315
Heidegger, Martin Robert Bernasconi 321
hermeneutics Joseph Margolis 324
horror Amy Coplan 328
Hume, David Theodore Gracyk 331
humor John Lippitt 334
Hutcheson, Francis Peter Kivy 338

I 341
iconoclasm and idolatry David Freedberg 341
illusion Robert Hopkins 343
imagination Roger Scruton 346
imaginative resistance Tamar Szabó Gendler 351
implied author Peter Lamarque 354
Indian aesthetics Kalyan Sen Gupta 356
ineffability David E. Cooper 360
Ingarden, Roman Wojciech Chojna 364
intention and interpretation Colin Lyas & Robert Stecker 366
"intentional fallacy" Colin Lyas & Robert Stecker 369
interpretation Joseph Margolis 371
interpretation, aims of David Davies 375
irony David E. Cooper 378
Islamic aesthetics Oliver Leaman 381

J 384
Japanese aesthetics Yuriko Saito 384

K 388
Kant, Immanuel David Whewell 388
Kierkegaard, Søren Ann Loades 392
kitsch Kathleen Marie Higgins 393
Kristeva, Julia Laura Marcus 396

L 400
Langer, Susanne Thomas M. Alexander 400
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim Anthony Savile 402
Lewis, C(larence) I(rving) Paisley Livingston 405
Lukács, Georg Tom Rockmore 408

M 411
Margolis, Joseph Richard Shusterman 411
Marxism and art Tom Rockmore 412
mass art Noël Carroll 415
meaning constructivism Robert Stecker 418
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice John J. Compton 421
metaphor Samuel R. Levin 423
modernism and postmodernism Stuart Sim 425
morality and art Berys Gaut 428
museums Paul Mattick 431

N 435
narrative Stein Haugom Olsen 435
Nietzsche, Friedrich (Wilhelm) Julian Young 438
notations Stephen Davies 441

O 444
objectivity and realism in aesthetics Robert Hopkins 444
ontological contextualism Theodore Gracyk 449
ontology of artworks Nicholas Wolterstorff 453
originality George Bailey 457

P 460
performance Stephen Davies 460
performance art David Davies 462
perspective John Hyman 465
picture perception Katerina Bantinaki 469
Plato Stephen Halliwell 472
Plotinus John Haldane 474
popular art Richard Shusterman 476
pornography Bernard Williams 478
pragmatist aesthetics Richard Shusterman 480
psychoanalysis and art Kathleen Marie Higgins 484

R 489
race and aesthetics Monique Roelofs 489
rasa Kathleen Marie Higgins 492
realism John Hyman 495
relativism Nicholas Davey 498
religion and art Robert Grant 500
representation Robert Hopkins 504
Ruskin, John Michael Wheeler 508

S 511
Santayana, George Morris Grossman 511
Sartre, Jean-Paul John J. Compton 512
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Andrew Bowie 514
Schiller, (Johann Christoph) Friedrich von Margaret Paton 517
Schlegel, August Wilhelm von Tom Rockmore 519
Schlegel, Friedrich von Tom Rockmore 520
Schopenhauer, Arthur Michael Tanner 522
science and art Anthony O’Hear 525
Scruton, Roger Anthony O’Hear 528
senses and art, the Robert Hopkins 530
sentimentality Deborah Knight 534
Shaftesbury, Lord Dabney Townsend 537
Sibley, Frank Noel Colin Lyas 538
structuralism and poststructuralism Stuart Sim 540
style Andrew Harrison 544
sublime Mary Mothersill 547
symbol Charles Molesworth 551

T 554
taste Robert Hopkins 554
technology and art John Andrew Fisher 556
testimony in aesthetics Robert Hopkins 560
text Richard Shusterman 562
theories of art Ronald W. Hepburn 565
Tolstoy, Leo David Whewell 570
tradition Anthony O’Hear 573
tragedy Susan L. Feagin 575
truth in art Eddy M. Zemach 578

U 581
universals in art Kathleen Marie Higgins 581

W 586
Wagner, Richard Michael Tanner 586
Walton, Kendall L(ewis) Alessandro Giovannelli 588
Wilde, Oscar David E. Cooper 591
Wittgenstein, Ludwig Malcolm Budd 593
Wollheim, Richard Malcolm Budd 596

Index 600

"If one is looking for a good single-volume reference work on the history and concepts of predominantly Western aesthetics, then this is the one to get." (CHOICE, 2009)

"The range is phenomenal, the erudition daunting and the index rigorous. It is an essential purchase for all but the most tough-minded of academic reference collections and it would grace the shelves of many a public or personal library." (Reference Reviews)

"It provides very handy encyclopedic coverage of all main contemporary issues and figures in contemporary aesthetics.... It really must be bought by libraries as a reference text..." (British Society of Aesthetics Newsletter)

  • Consists of 168 alphabetical chapters written by prominent scholars covering a wide-range of key topics in aesthetics and the philosophy of art
  • Features revised and expanded entries from the first edition, as well as new chapters on recent developments in aesthetics and a larger number of essays on non-Western thought about art
  • Unique to this edition are six overview essays on the history of aesthetics in the West from antiquity to modern times