An Introduction to the Philosophy of Art

By Richard Eldridge | Go to book overview

4
Expression

Feelings about subject matters in life: Wordsworth, Tolstoy,
and Collingwood

Against the idea that works of art present a subject matter and the idea that works of art embody pleasing formal arrangements, it can seem important to emphasize that works of art are products of human action— made things, not just either imitations or forms. Without this emphasis artworks can seem either too much like gratuitous reproductions of reality (like mirrors or reflections in ponds) or too much like objects of idle pleasure and amusement (like pretty decorations). When we instead focus on works of art as things that human beings make, then these misemphases can be corrected. Though they do present a subject matter and please through arrangement, works of art are also made in order somehow to communicate something—an attitude, a point of view, or a feeling about a subject matter—that lies in some sense “in” the maker. Audiences typically approach a work with an interest in what it says, that is, with an interest in which attitudes and emotions toward its subject matter on the part of its maker it makes manifest. It is natural therefore to think that artworks are expressive objects and that it is distinctive of artistic representations and formal arrangements—in contrast with scientific treatises and decorations—that they have as a central function the expression of attitudes and emotions toward their subject matter. Only by attending to art as expression can we properly engage with its distinctive kind of significance: the communication of emotion and attitude.

In the 1800 preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth eloquently sketches an expression theory of poetry as a way of establishing its importance in human life, in contrast with decadent and idle entertainment. His principal purpose in his poems, he tells us,

was to choose incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible in a selection of

-68-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
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
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 285

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.