Critical Analysis: Summary Of Aesthetics

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Micaela Hanrath Professor Hullender ART 446 30 January 2018 Summary of Aesthetics I have already learned so much about aesthetics this semester and I’m eager to continue learning more. I have gained a knowledge of different philosophers that play an important role in classifying aesthetics as a philosophy, a theory of art, and an “experience”. I’ve also learned about how teaching aesthetics will benefit my future students and how to teach the concepts in a way that will expand their critical thinking skills. An important philosopher that we’ve learned about in class is Alexander Baumgarten who coined the term aesthetics in 1735 and established it as a philosophy (a study of reality, knowledge and existence). The term came from the Greek…show more content…
Kant’s philosophy is characterized by the belief that aesthetic judgments are made with disinterest or without a sense of desire or attachment. He also hypothesized that aesthetic judgments are universal and necessary meaning that beauty is objective and determined by a physical reaction or eternal truth. In Kant’s belief, beauty is not open to interpretation, but is instead determined by “common sense”. His philosophy also states that beautiful art is purposive without a purpose meaning that it has value without intention. While there is no specific purpose, the viewer still gets something out of the experience. A philosopher who focuses on aesthetics as an “experience” is John Dewey. Dewey stated that aesthetics is a dynamic action between two poles, or a transactional experience that takes place between the object and the audience. He also hypothesized that the aesthetic experience has a clear beginning, middle and end. The experience takes place in real time and space, and is more than just visual but include all of the senses. Dewey believed that all aesthetic experiences are different between individuals and that it can be vast or intimate. The judgment has to do with the viewers personal perception of the…show more content…
A theory, according to Stewart, is “an attempt to explain a certain set of phenomena or a single phenomenon” (pg. 18). The theory of art aesthetics states that analyzing art involves viewing it in relation to the maker, perceiver, and context, since artwork “always exists in relation to other things, people or events” (pg. 18). The four major art theories are Formalist, Expressionist, Contextualist, and Imitation and are all lenses used to evaluate art and it’s beauty. The Formalist art theory uses the formal qualities of a work, such as the elements and principles of design, to determine the success of a piece. This theory doesn’t take into account subject matter, emotion, or the intention of the artist. The next theory is Expressionist which evaluates a piece of art based on the mood, feeling, or emotion expressed. The emotion to a piece can be hard to verbalize, but it’s a psychological feeling one gets when viewing the work. The expressive character of a piece is not attributed to the subject matter, but the formal elements such as line, color, texture, space,

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