The philosophy of art refers to both the almost constant interest of philosophers in art since antiquity and a discipline more or less known as autonomous since the late eighteenth century. For the historian of philosophy Michel Blay, there are two possible approaches to the philosophy of art. On the one hand it covers the entire corpus of philosophical texts from Greek antiquity, address the issue of aesthetics (from Plato to Kant, in short); secondly there is the discipline born with Schelling in the early nineteenth century.
The contribution of antiquity revolves around the concept of “mimesis”, with Plato in Sophist, especially with Aristotle in his Poetics. Mimesis is in his art to represent reality; so Art would be representation of reality and beautiful. However, it is with the shelving of the concept of mimesis as “the first theory of art as a work of genius emerges in Kant.” In addition to distinguishing the different arts, Kant moves the inner principle of artistic poleward reception, likening it to the aesthetic idea as an expression of the mind and imagination.
In his lecture entitled Philosophy of Art (1802-1803), Schelling rejects the aesthetics name and announced that philosophy alone is able to develop a “true science of art.” Another big name on the philosophy of art is that of Hegel, who, in his Aesthetics (1828-1829) shows that the purpose of this discipline is the Fair and Art, understood as distinct from religion and philosophy. The modern period is dominated by two major currents. The first, represented by Adorno raises the question of the autonomy of art, especially against the social. Theodor W. Adorno, heir to the thought of Karl Marx, concludes that without the social, the art can not exist. The second stream is the analytical aesthetics. It raises the problem of the definition of art. The uses of the word are analyzed by Ludwig Wittgenstein while functioning as a practice is studied by Nelson Goodman.
The early eighteenth century saw the emergence of an awareness of art, like the previous century had revealed the subject’s consciousness. Born of philosophical modernity, aesthetics remains a philosophical discipline that despite his attempts did not emancipated science of art. It is only for simplicity that agrees that aesthetics (philosophy and art direction) is a reflection on art, for the purpose of this discussion is not given to advance. In fact it is the artistic practices themselves that have become reflexive and nowadays it is hardly possible to separate the artwork of discourse which it is based: “aesthetic” and “artistic” are two adjectives virtually interchangeable.
Though originally Alexander Baumgarten, the author to whom aesthetics is named, considered “aesthetic art.” According to his idea, the beauty provided an opportunity to perceptible knowledge to achieve its perfect fulfillment: an art of beauty was the equivalent of the theory built on causality. Mediation was by this third term, “beauty”, introduced between art and aesthetics.
Like the modern look was exercised to discover a primitive art, aesthetics discovered precursors in the ancient authors. For example Plato’s dialogue Hippias major traditionally carries the subtitle From the beauty and became a canonical text of aesthetics. So it is hardly surprising to find that he anticipates some issues that are still debated today. The outcomes of non-European civilizations may also be subject to such a reading and in this way also rebuilt, for example, a Chinese or Indian aesthetics.
As long as we conceive of art as a regulated activity, the need for a system to judge its results was not felt. It is only in retrospect that the various Poetic arts wrote from antiquity have become representative of a normative aesthetics. The Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns shows that in fact the conventional nature of standards or rules was well received. The first draft of aesthetics was an attempt to naturalize art and the temptation is still alive.
Immanuel Kant is the author of the compromise solution which, in one form or another, is currently underway. According to his original idea, “Genius is the innate mental disposition through which nature gives the rule to art. “. If beauty, or rather the idea of beauty, timeless and universally valid, bound art to concerned discourse, innovation (artistic or aesthetic) is problematic. Accept the appearance of geniuses, defined by their “natural talent,” paves the way for change; the art is an activity subject to certain rules, but they can change. Aesthetics reduced by Baumgarten to perception develops judgment on perceived.
This judgment, however, is based not on defined concepts. The “Beautiful” is universal without concept. This means basically that it is the great work that provides new insight on the “Beautiful”. The beautiful work can not be reduced to a concept, but is an aesthetic idea, which suggests, but it is inexponible, transcends understanding. Kant interprets the aesthetic sense as the result of a inconceptualisable relationship between our faculties, intuition, imagination and reason. This means that the “Beautiful” is rooted in the profound unity of the human person, that experience does not have access. In addition, Hegel criticized, Kant accords a primacy of natural “Beautiful” on artistic Beautiful. Or rather, human ingenuity is part of nature. Finally Kant is not just the value of a work of art with beauty alone, since developing an analysis of the sublime. Is sublime which exceeds human imagination, and thus arouses a reaction of intelligence as the human will. As large or powerful as a fact of nature, we exceed it by the idea of the infinite, and especially our moral resolution.
From the Kantian approach, one can derive many of the views and subsequent artistic practices. Of particular note is the idiosyncrasy of those that a part of the society accepts as great artists, transgression designed as an aesthetic act or manifests and other programs through which modern art movements assert themselves.
This approach by introducing a third term, beauty, genius, cultural or otherwise, between what we call “art” and what is called “aesthetic” succeeds at most delay the problem, because each time the question comes; What is beauty, engineering or culture? How do we grant the validity of the answer? That art offers his works for a cosmetic or aesthetic circumscribes the field of art, there is a circularity here that we avoid difficult without recourse to historical and social dimensions of these phenomena.
Translated from Wikipedia