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Aesthetics: The Big Questions (Philosophy


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Table of Contents

List of Plates.



Part One: What is Art?.

Preface. John Dewey.

The Live Creature. Richard L. Anderson, from Calliope's Sisters.

The Artworld. Arthur C. Danto.

Crafty Women and the Hierarchy of the Arts. Roszika Parker and Griselda Pollock.

Zen and the Art of Tea. D. T. Suzuki.

Dressing Down Dressing Up. The Philosophic Fear of Fashion. Karen Hanson.

Part Two: Experience and Appreciation: How Do We Encounter Art?.


A Contested Term: What is "Aesthetic"?.

The Aesthetic Attitude. Jerome Stolnitz.

Locating the Aesthetic. Marcia Eaton.

From Truth and Method. Hans Georg Gadamer.

How is Art Presented to the Public?.

Artistic Dropouts. Kevin Melchionne.

Museums: From Object to Experience. Hilde Hein.

The MoMA's Hot Mamas. Carol Duncan.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Arthur Danto.

Part Three: Aesthetic Evaluation: Who Decides?.


Of the Standard of Taste. David Hume.

From Distinction. Pierre Bourdieu.

Disinterestedness and Political Art. Peggy Zeglin Brand.

High and Low Thinking About High and Low Art. Ted Cohen.

Part Four: Can We Learn from Art?.


From The Republic. Plato.

The Sovereignty of Good. Iris Murdoch.

From Love's Knowledge. Martha Nussbaum.

Carnage and Glory, Legends and Lies. Michael Norman.

Paintings and Their Places. Susan L. Feagin.

Part Five: Tragedy, Sublimity, Horror: Why Do We Enjoy Painful Experiences in Art?.


Tragedy: Sophocles, Choral Ode from Oedipus at Colonus.

From the Poetics. Aristotle.

From The Birth of Tragedy. Friedrich Nietzsche.


Descent into the Maelstrom. Edgar Allen Poe.

From A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Edmund Burke.

From The Critique of Judgement. Immanuel Kant.


From The Philosophy of Horror. Noel Carroll.

Realist Horror. Cynthia Freeland.

Part Six: Where is the Artist in the Work of Art?.


Genius and Creativity.

From Critique of Judgement. Kant.

Gender and Genius. Christine Battersby.

Interpreting the Artist in Society.

What is an Author? Michael Foucault.

Truth and other Cultures. Michael Baxandall.

Musical Thinking and Thinking About Music. Bruno Nettl.


About the Author

Carolyn Korsmeyer is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is the editor (with Peggy Zeglin Brand) of Feminism and Tradition in Aesthetics (1995) and (with Hilde Hein) Aesthetics in Feminist Perspective (1993) and the author (with Dubois, Kelly, Kennedy, and Robinson) of Feminist Scholarship: Kindling in the Groves of Academe (1985).


"An anthology that paired the strongest evidence in favor of the tradition with the strongest evidence against it would have obvious appeal for many teachers of aesthetics, especially those of us who remain genuinely ambivalent about the tradition. That anthology does not yet exist, at least to my knowledge. In the meantime, the next best thing may be to pair this provocative collection with one of its more traditional competitors." James Shelley, American Society for Aesthetics

"Carolyn Korsmeyer has produced a very useful anthology which will undoubtedly become a well used textbook for students of aesthetics and a valuable source of otherwise less readily available texts...the volume is radical in enriching the discipline and Korsmeyer has made the presence of women scholars and feminist theory in philosophy felt in fundamental ways." Melanie Selfe, Women's Philosophy Review, Special Issue no. 25, 2000

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