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Artistic Judgement

by Graham McFee

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series Series

Artistic Judgement Synopsis

Artistic Judgement sketches a framework for an account of art suitable to philosophical aesthetics. It stresses differences between artworks and other things; and locates the understanding of artworks both in a narrative of the history of art and in the institutional practices of the art world. Hence its distinctiveness lies in its strong account of the difference between, on the one hand, the judgement and appreciation of art and, on the other, the judgement and appreciation of all the other things in which we take an aesthetic interest. For only by acknowledging this contrast can one do justice to the importance regularly ascribed to art. The contrast is explained by appealing to an occasion-sensitive account of understanding, drawn from Charles Travis directly, but with Gordon Baker (and Wittgenstein) as also proximate rather than remote. On this basis, it argues, first, that we need to offer accounts of key topics only as far as questions might be raised in respect of them (hence, not exceptionlessly); and, second, that we should therefore defend the view that the meaning of artworks can be changed by later events (the historical character of art, or forward retroactivism) and that art has an institutional character, understood broadly on the lines of Terry Diffey's Republic of Art. Besides providing a general framework, Artistic Judgement also explores the applications of the ideas to specific artworks or classes of them.

Artistic Judgement Press Reviews

From the reviews: As its title promises, Artistic Judgment: A Framework for Philosophical Aesthetics develops a theoretical account of the nature of philosophical aesthetics, and, within that framework, addresses some important issues in the philosophy of art, all focally related to artistic judgement. ... in the present philosophical context, readers who are not sympathetic to Wittgensteinian approaches to aesthetics, as well as those who are, should read this extremely interesting book. (Thomas Adajian, British Journal of Aesthetics, Vol. 51 (4), October, 2011)

Book Information

ISBN: 9789400700307
Publication date: 16th January 2011
Author: Graham McFee
Publisher: Springer
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 196 pages
Categories: Philosophy: aesthetics, The arts: general issues,

About Graham McFee

Graham McFee studied at the University of Keele, and at University College London (where he was supervised by Richard Wollheim). Having worked at the University of Brighton since 1974, he was inaugurated Professor of Philosophy there in 1995. Since 2004, he has divided his time between Brighton and California State University Fullerton. He was Vice President of the British Society for Aesthetics from 1999 to 2004. His main interests, outside aesthetics, lie in the philosophy of Wittgenstein and the philosophical study of sport.

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