Envoi

Now at the end of this foray into the philosophy of mass art, we are in a position to stand back and survey the damage. The first two chapters of this book were devoted to ground clearing. Many of the most important arguments for and against mass art were rehearsed and contested in order to make room for a classificatory theory of mass art. I proposed such a theory in the third chapter of this book, where I argued that mass art can be distinguished from other sorts of art along the dual axes of technology and accessibility. Moreover, my emphasis on accessibility highlighted the relation of mass art to its audience, and, thereby, to questions about its reception. And the theme of the reception of mass art, in turn, was followed up by considering the ways in which mass art addresses its audience emotionally, morally, and ideologically.

Admittedly, the theories of the various structures I developed in the last three chapters of the book apply to other kinds of art than merely mass art. However, throughout I have been at pains to stress that mass art's commitment to audience accessibility governs the ways in which these structures are deployed in mass art. That is, mass art addresses widely distributed emotions, invokes pervasive moral principles and concepts, and exploits ideological commonplaces because it is predicated on engaging mass audiences. Were mass art to address uncommon emotions, morals, and political convictions, it would not secure mass uptake. And mass art is, among other things, ideally designed for ease of accessibility by maximum numbers of audience members expending minimum effort. This is not the only kind of art on offer in the market-place today. It is one kind of art. It is mass art.

If there is any one theme that runs throughout this book, it may be the

-413-

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A Philosophy of Mass Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Philosophical Resistance to Mass Art: The Majority Tradition 15
  • 2 - Philosophical Celebrations of Mass Art: The Minority Tradition 110
  • 3 - The Nature of Mass Art 172
  • 4 - Mass Art and the Emotions 245
  • 5 - Mass Art and Morality 291
  • 6 - Mass Art and Ideology 360
  • Envoi 413
  • Index 419
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