Questions in Aesthetics
(a partial list for the course and for your project):
What is an aesthetic issue?
Why think about art? Why not just experience it?
What makes art different from nonart?
Should we recognize a difference between fine art, commercial art, and craftwork?
What do the arts have in common?
Why does art matter?
Are art and beauty essentially related?
What is a symbol?
How does art mean? How does the answer to this question differ with the different arts? (e.g., painting, music, dance).
What's the status of aesthetic standards? Do they simply express individual or cultural tastes? Is there something objective about them?
What's the nature of aesthetic properties? Are they in any sense "objective"? Or are they simply "in the eye (or ear) of the beholder"?
How do the arts relate to spirituality and religion?
Is there a connection between morality and art?
How do the arts communicate emotions? How central is emotional communication to the nature of art?
How do the arts relate to economic power and class structure?
How closely is artistic expression and meaning tied to culture? To cultural ideas and philosophy? To cultural "forms of life"?
What's the nature of aesthetic intelligence, and how does it relate to other sorts of intelligence?
Can animals be artists?
Is there any special connection between art and gender, or between art and sex or the erotic?
How important is performance to art?
Why aren't natural objects works of art? Or are they?
Do artists reveal? Interpret? Express? All of the above
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