philosophy of art
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: philosophy of art

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    226
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 36 Times in 23 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    philosophy of art

    anyone studied it (formally or as a hobby) ? is it good ? what are the central issues?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,059
    Thanks
    1,516
    Thanked 5,150 Times in 1,700 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    The central issue is, is it good if you study it?

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,221
    Thanks
    114
    Thanked 96 Times in 67 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    The central issue is, is it good if you study it?



    I think you mean Art theory:
    If so it's one of the only programs in art that you can get a PhD. in I believe...

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    887
    Thanks
    957
    Thanked 492 Times in 226 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I received my formal education in this stuff, and my advice would be to stay away from it altogether

    Seriously though, if it interests you, I suppose I could kick around some thoughts and suggestions. If you can, try to study under thinkers who aren’t entirely hostile to the opposing tradition. Right now Philosophy/Aesthetics is pretty sharply divided into two camps: an Anglo-American tradition and a Continental one. It’s a major issue with the way philosophy is taught this country, but if you’re going to be taking classes in the subject, its good to know what you’re getting yourself into.

    As a general rule, everyone respects what the Classical thinkers had to say (Plato, Aristotle etc.) and will give some deference to the big names like Descartes and Kant. But after that things tend to branch in opposite directions; one following the British and American Empiricists like Hume, Mill, Dewey, Russell etc. and the other following continental thinkers like Hegel, Kierkegaard Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger, the French Existentialists and their successors. Pursuing a formal education in any area of Philosophy, you’re basically asked to choose teams; because in many cases, professors (and occasionally entire departments) will ignore one tradition in favor of the other. My advice; ditch the formal education, and instead grab the library card or camp out at Borders. Its much cheaper, and you won't have to deal with all those irritating in class arguments and pissing contests. As for the central issues, I think its safe to say that the main (and perhaps only) issue in contemporary aesthetic theory, philosophy of art, whatever you want to call it is: “How to deal with modern art?”

    Put another way, “How to understand the advent of photography, and its impact on the other visual/plastic arts?” Before the photograph came along things were fairly cut and dry. As a general rule philosophy is hostile to art (beginning with Plato and moving right down to the present day.) Aristotle sets the bar with “the imitation of nature” and most thinkers follow him. You might make some interesting detours with Montaigne and Pascal, or stop off to hang out with enlightenment thinkers like Gotthold Lessing, but for the most part 20th centrury art is what you're going to have to deal with. Philosophers eat this shit up, because many of the most popular 20th century visual art's movements, aimed to turn Art into Philosophy (Duchamp, the Dadaist, and their cohorts.) Before these cats came along, you might find yourself asking questions like: "What is Beauty?" or "How do the arts follow nature?" or something with a similarly classical ring. Nowadays, however, the question is pretty uniformly...

    "Is this art?" or
    "Why is this art?" or
    "Who gets to say that this is art?"

    And many other intractable questions...

    You will almost certainly be forced to read Danto and George Dickie (which may or may not "thrill" you.) If you're lucky, you might find a professor who's read people like Heidegger, Derrida, Irigaray, Agamben etc. and is capable of teaching them (which is not always the same thing.) You really do need someone there to help you along though, because these guys are almost innaccessible otherwise, and can be very frustrating to read off the cuff.

    If you want to start with someone who is still very relevant, and enjoyable to read, I'd begin with Nietzsche. The Birth of Tragedy is generally the first book they throw at you, but I would recommend that you pick up Human All too Human, and The Will to Power first, and hit up all the sections with the word Art in the heading. You might also try to hunt down a copy of The Continental Aesthetics Reader. One of my old mentors helped to edit it, and it has some interesting ideas to mull over.

    Hope that helped a little.

    Last edited by Jasonwclark; October 30th, 2007 at 04:11 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Jasonwclark For This Useful Post:


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,881
    Thanks
    286
    Thanked 1,436 Times in 259 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonwclark View Post
    Nowadays, however, the question is pretty uniformly...

    "Is this art?" or
    "Why is this art?" or
    "Who gets to say that this is art?"
    If I had to sit through even a single class of this, I would slit my wrists.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. #6
    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fallingwater
    Posts
    5,059
    Thanks
    1,516
    Thanked 5,150 Times in 1,700 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    The seven central question, in sequence, you will find yourself asking in Art Theory class..

    1. Is it Art?
    2. Why is it Art?
    3. Who Gets to say "this is Art" and "this isn't Art"?
    4. Why aren't I learning how to make Art in this class?
    5. How much of Art is disguised Philosophy and Politics?
    6. Why are we only talking about Politics in Art Class?
    7. Can I get my money back?

    At least Icarus tried!


    My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=101106

    My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
    http://www.myspace.com/kevferrara
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    887
    Thanks
    957
    Thanked 492 Times in 226 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    4. Why aren't I learning how to make Art in this class?
    5. How much of Art is disguised Philosophy and Politics?
    6. Why are we only talking about Politics in Art Class?
    7. Can I get my money back?
    Dead on-
    You cracked me up there kev.

    In all fairness though I guess I should say...
    Its not that it’s all trash; but the Socratic elenchus really doesn't lend itself well to art appreciation and analysis. Sure, occasionally you'll uncover a little gem of wisdom here and there, but the discipline at large is a total minefield. That’s ok though; the best insights usually arrive when you're reading alone anyway, so you don't really need the academy... just a lot of curiosity and patience.

    It’s hard to say where to start though, as far as a possible reading list might go. Many of these thinkers like to make allusions to their forebears, and in addition to all the swarming "philosophers" from bygone eras, there are also of poets/authors that are frequently referenced. 18th and 19th favorites; Geothe, Rilke, Baudelaire, Huysmans, Dos Pasos, Henry Miller and the like, who in turn like to reference older works and writers. And then you have the Artists themselves to contend with, from Da Vinci to Van Gough: and all the other men and women of letters who wrote on the subject in decades past. Almost everyone weighs in at one point or another. And as with anything, once everyone starts weighing in, a torrent of bullshit tends to follow after.

    But best of luck dude.
    And remember to be careful of the smooth talkers, they’ll mind rape you if you aren’t careful.

    Last edited by Jasonwclark; October 30th, 2007 at 04:12 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    33
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I'm in a philosophy of art course right now with a great professor and I think that its a lot of fun. I wouldn't want to study it for more than one or two classes, but an introduction is interesting. We started with Beauty and what it is, and went through Hume and Kant. Now we've kind of moved onto the purpose of art, and have read Hegel and Nietszche. I can't remember where we are going next, but its been fun.

    If you do take a class, just make sure you don't automatically agree with whatever philosopher you're studying at the time, a lot of the kids in my class do that, and as soon as we switch gears they're on the side of the new philosopher.

    This isn't nearly as good a picture of the subject as jason put forth, but I thought I would throw my 2 cents in anyway.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    226
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 36 Times in 23 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    i wont be taking a class - i was just curious. thanks for the detailed replies . at most ill probably hit up the library when i have free time. What led me to ask the question was that as a science major there is not philosophy of science subjects available to me, and i find science philospohy, especially of the mind/brain, particularly interesting. so i figured maybe the same applies to art.

    i think without going too far into it , it would be interesting to see what beauty and aesthetics generally entails, because there are sure to be historic trends right... i guess its not 'what is art' that i want to read about but 'how has art changed and why, and what do people like about art and why' that sort of thing. anyway i have zilcho time atm (exams) ill probably look into it more on the holidays

    edit: hhaha kev sounds liek youve summed it up bro

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,881
    Thanks
    286
    Thanked 1,436 Times in 259 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by lumar View Post
    i guess its not 'what is art' that i want to read about but 'how has art changed and why, and what do people like about art and why' that sort of thing.
    Aha! What you want, then , is an art history class.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. #11
    Elwell's Avatar
    Elwell is offline Sticks Like Grim Death Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hudson River valley, NY
    Posts
    16,212
    Thanks
    4,879
    Thanked 16,666 Times in 5,020 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by lumar View Post
    ...it would be interesting to see what beauty and aesthetics generally entails, because there are sure to be historic trends right... i guess its not 'what is art' that i want to read about but 'how has art changed and why, and what do people like about art and why' that sort of thing.

    A History of Beauty, by Umberto Eco.

    I'm not specifically familiar with it, but Eco is always a good read.


    Tristan Elwell
    **Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial

    Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!

    "Work is more fun than fun."
    -John Cale

    "Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
    -Marc Maron
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Elwell For This Useful Post:


  14. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Quito - Ecuador
    Posts
    3,125
    Thanks
    438
    Thanked 333 Times in 223 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    added to the wishlist! thanks elwell

    "Nihil est in intellectu quod non prius in sensu" | SB | Portfolio | FJGC (blog) | DA (Profile) | EJERCICIOS DE COLOR
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •