An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art

By Richard Eldridge | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Hilary Gaskin suggested this book project to me. She secured insightful readers for my first proposal, and their comments and her suggestions helped me to find what is, I hope, a useful scheme of topics.

I have been fortunate to have had gifted teachers of philosophy in general and of the philosophy of art in particular. First among the philosophers of art who were my teachers, I thank Ted Cohen. I am grateful to have had his influence on the substance of my thinking about art and on my philosophical sensibility and style. This influence was evident to me continuously as I wrote, including but well beyond the direct discussions of his work in these pages.

Over the last twenty years I have had detailed conversations on every topic in this book with members of the American Society for Aesthetics. I am pleased to count its members as my colleagues and friends. It is a wonderful society, with members ready both to argue and to listen, always with genuine enthusiasm for both the practices of art and for philosophical understanding. The talks I have heard, the essays I have read, and the conversations I have enjoyed are far too numerous to detail, even if I could recall all the dates and names, as I cannot. Together with particular thanks to Stanley Bates (also once my teacher), who has heard and discussed so many ASA talks with me, I must let an expression of gratitude to the Society cover my manifold debts to all its members.

Alex Neill read a late draft of chapter 8 and provided detailed and acute comments that led to improvements; any errors that remain are mine, not his.

The philosophers who have through their writing especially influenced my thinking are discussed in the text and listed in its footnotes. Among them, however, I especially note here Monroe Beardsley, my predecessor as a teacher of the philosophy of art at Swarthmore College. Though I have sometimes disagreed with him, I found much more agreement than

-viii-

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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments viii
  • 1 - The Situation and Tasks of the Philosophy of Art 1
  • 2 - Representation, Imitation, and Resemblance 25
  • 3 - Beauty and Form 47
  • 4 - Expression 68
  • 5 - Originality and Imagination 102
  • 6 - Understanding Art 128
  • 7 - Identifying and Evaluating Art 150
  • 8 - Art and Emotion 183
  • 9 - Art and Morality 205
  • 10 - Art and Society: Some Contemporary Practices of Art 231
  • 11 - Epilogue: the Evidence of Things Not Seen 259
  • Bibliography 264
  • Index 277
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