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Art And Engagement

Arnold Berleant

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. vii


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pp. ix

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pp. xi-xv

THIS BOOK WAS BEGUN LONG BEFORE IT WAS CONCEIVED, AND ITS intent and direction may become more apparent if I briefly recount its origins. In an earlier book, The Aesthetic Field: A Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience (1970), I developed a theory of art and the aesthetic that may have seemed somewhat idiosyncratic at the time it...

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pp. xvii

PERMISSION IS GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGED FOR THE USE OF THE following materials: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. for "Six Significant Landscapes," VI, by Wallace Stevens; New Directions Publishing Co. and David Higham for "A Refusal to Mourn the Death by Fire of a Child in London," by Dylan Thomas; and Grove Press for an excerpt from...

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pp. 1-6

AESTHETICS IS A STUDY WITH A LONG HISTORY AND A SHORT IDENtity. Like its root discipline philosophy, aesthetics has struggled to establish both itself and its subject matter, its material and its methodology, its proper problems and its structure, its order of working...

Part One: Aesthetics and Experience

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1. Experience and Theory in Aesthetics

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pp. 9-31

FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES ART HAS BEEN INTEGRAL TO HUMAN culture. Both fascinated and perplexed by the arts, people have tried, since the age of classical Greece, to understand how they work and what they mean. Philosophers wondered at first about the nature of art: what it is and how it relates to the cosmos. They puzzled over...

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2. The Unity of Aesthetic Experience

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pp. 32-50

THE ARTISTIC TRANSFORMATIONS THAT CONTRADICT THE INHERited aesthetic ofthe eighteenth century are no anomaly in the history of the arts. They must not be dismissed as deviant, an unhappy though temporary digression from the true and proper course of things. They move, in fact, close to the far older tradition of artistic...

Part Two: Engagement in the Arts

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3. The Viewer in the Landscape

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pp. 53-75

PAINTING IS THE ART OF OBJECTS PAR EXCELLENCE. PAINTINGS ARE things, stretched canvases covered with colored oil, paper saturated with tinted water, firm surfaces coated with pigments that have been mixed with a vehicle so they can be spread, blended, and fixed in place. Paintings are typically hung on walls or placed on racks. They

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4. Architecture as Environmental Design

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pp. 76-104

HOWEVER MUCH THE OTHER SENSES JOIN IN THE PERCEPTUAL EXperience of landscape painting, vision predominates. Because it is necessary for pictorial perception, the visual is the leading sensory strand, for without sight the kinesthetic, haptic, and other modalities of sensory awareness cannot join in. Even so, when we view a pic...

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5. The Reader's Word

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pp. 105-131

IT IS ONE OF THE DISCOVERIES OF RECENT LITERARY CRITICISM, perhaps its most far-reaching claim, that a text does not stand alone. A text requires a cohort of critics and readers, a literary public, a linguistic system, all surrounded by a larger society with its conventions and beliefs, and all placed in an ordered historical perspective to...

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6. Musical Generation

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pp. 132-150

MUSIC SUFFERS IN DISCUSSION MORE THAN MOST ARTS. THE DIFFIculties of grasping the workings of an art whose materials of sound are intangible, elusive, and ephemeral are increased by the usual practice of employing physical and other alien metaphors to convey the activities of musical creation and appreciation. It is common to...

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7. Dance as Performance [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 151-172

IT IS COMMONPLACE IN AESTHETICS TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN those arts that center on a stable, relatively permanent object, such as a painting, a sculpture, or a building, and those that appear in the ephemeral form of a transient activity, such as music, theater and, most especially, dance. This division of the realm into performing...

Part Three: Art and Reality

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8. Cinematic Reality

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pp. 175-189

FILM IS THE MASS ART OF OUR DAY. IT APPEARS TO PURVEY FANTASY to a huge market of people hungry for distraction from dull routine and for deliverance from a sense of anonymity and powerlessness. But cinema is not so much an art of escape as an art of entry. In this modem equivalent of crystal gazing everyone becomes his or her...

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9. The Realities of Art

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pp. 190-208

IN AN EXHIBITION IN THE MID-1980s AT THE POMPIDOU CENTER IN Paris, the philosopher J.-F. Lyotard attempted to show how our postmodern sensibility cannot allow us to accept the world simply as it is perceived. Reality, he holds, has become transformed into a complex and infinite network of meanings and codes, so that the...

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10. Epilogue: Art and the End of Aesthetics

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pp. 209-213

PURSUING THE COURSE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF ART IN EXPERIENCE, history, and theory has led us beyond aesthetics proper into regions of philosophical query that we have only begun to probe. Yet the connections of aesthetics with other domains of philosophy are not casual, and there are unusual insights to be found here. Strong bonds...


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pp. 215-245


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pp. 247-259

E-ISBN-13: 9781439905425

Publication Year: 2010