Theories of taste ran rampant in the eighteenth century, but things have settled down a bit in academic circles. Despite all the books on aesthetics, few people (if any) have offered new theories of aesthetic taste. Yet we live in a time where the exercise of taste has become quite pervasive. Content creators and audiences … Continue reading What is Aesthetic Taste?
Guest post by Venkat Ramanan The adjective “ineffable” appears to be used mostly in relation to either (a) a spiritual/mystical experience or (b) when we appreciate a work of visual or plastic art. Here are some examples of (a) - The British writer Karen Armstrong described Laozi (the Chinese philosopher from the 6th century BCE) … Continue reading Aesthetic Ineffability and the Rebirth of the Reader
In his book, Aesthetics: A Very Short Introduction, Bence Nanay writes, "What all things aesthetic have in common is something very simple: the way you're exercising your attention" (p.22). To illustrate what he means, Nanay uses as an example the painting The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Landscape with the Fall of … Continue reading Attention to Beauty
I remember hearing that Dostoevsky, in his book The Idiot, has a character utter the expression, "Beauty will save the world." I immediately liked this expression, if for no other reason than hoping it might be true. Years later, I finally got around to read The Idiot. I kept waiting with anticipation for the famous line … Continue reading Can Beauty Save the World?
Because you celebrate Black culture does not mean that you don't like white culture; or that you putting it down.It's just taking pride- Solange Knowles, “Interlude: Tina Taught Me” Victoria Lynn Awkward, “Sand (Group),” 2019. Photo courtesy of Victoria Lynn Awkward. What does it mean to be inclusive and diverse? We have committees, departments, policies, … Continue reading Collective Individuals: A Review of Sand
We often think of beauty in terms of 'nice', like it's something nice to have. But, we continue, it isn't really necessary. It's something that we add to our lives, if and only if everything else is in order. We have occasion to experience beauty during times of stress, but this is surely only accidental. … Continue reading The Frivolity of Beauty?
The value of art is regularly challenged. Our state recently lowered the amount of money going to the Massachusetts Cultural Council. This raises a question: are the arguments we use for arts funding the best? The Americans for the Arts conference was recently held in Boston to discuss these kinds of issues. I’ll add to that … Continue reading The Value of Art