By James W. Manns
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Additional info for Aesthetics
Some theories are simply more fruitful than others, some theoreticians more insightful than others. One humble example of the kind of insight that leads to progress is offered in Chapter Three, where a psychological theory is applied to the realm of aesthetic response. And in Chapter One, pursuit of a definition of ''art'' is infused with the conviction that such a pursuit can in principle be rewarded. 4. That tradition is of vital importance to art and aesthetics has already been stated. The longevity of certain aspects of this tradition comes out most clearly in Chapter Two, in which the lineage of perhaps the most venerable of all aesthetic theoriesrepresentation theoryis traced from its beginnings in ancient Greek thought to its twentieth-century manifestations.
There we had the work and its theory in company with one another, both supplied in this case by the same individual (and incidentally, it was presented in the Pompidou Center in Parisa giant step on the way to institutional legitimization), but was I really in the presence of art? If object plus theory is sufficient to constitute art, then we already have the answer to that question; if we feel any hesitation in giving an affirmative answer, then object plus theory is not sufficient. The Artist's Followers If often enough the great artists themselves are not concerned with art theory, then perhaps someone in their community should assume the burden for them.
Seeing art keeping such company as this does not encourage us greatly in our search for that one component, or complex of components, that all works of art, properly so called, are to share. If the determinants of art become shadowy and suspect as we allow our search to drift into the past, toward the rootsetymologicallyof the term, then it might be hoped that a concentration on more recent claimants for the label "art" would provide us with somewhat firmer footing. Yet this hardly proves to be the case.