A Philosophy of Mass Art

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Overview


We live in a world surrounded by mass art. Movies, TV, pulp literature, comics, rock music--both broadcast and recorded--surround us everywhere. Yet despite the fact that for the majority of people mass art supplies the primary source of aesthetic experience, the area has been neglected entirely by analytical philosophers of art.

In this pathbreaking new book, a leading philosopher of art provides an accessible and wide-ranging look at the topic. Noel Carroll shows why philosophers have previously resisted and/or misunderstood mass art and he develops frameworks for understanding the relation of mass art to the emotions, morality, and ideology. He also discusses the major theories of such pivotal figures as Collingwood, Adorno, Benjamin, McCluhan, and Fiske. Mixing conceptual analysis with many vivid examples, Carroll forges the first significant attempt at a philosophy of mass art, concluding that there are strong grounds for approaching mass art in the same fashion as high art.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198711292
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/19/1998
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Wisconsin
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Philosophical Resistance to Mass Art: The Majority Tradition 15
The Massification Argument 16
The Passivity Argument 30
The Formula Argument 49
The Freedom Argument, The Susceptibility Argument, and the Conditioning Argument 70
Concluding Remarks: A Diagnosis of Philosophy's Resistance to Mass Art 89
2 Philosophical Celebrations of Mass Art: The Minority Tradition 110
Walter Benjamin and the Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 114
Marshall McLuhan and the Electronic Future 145
3 The Nature of Mass Art 172
The Elimination Theory of Mass Art 176
Defining Mass Art 184
The Ontology of Mass Art 211
David Novitz's Theory of Mass Art 222
John Fiske's Rejection of the Concept of Mass Art 236
4 Mass Art and the Emotions 245
Plato versus the Cognitive Theory of the Emotions 250
Criterial Prefocusing: An Alternative to Identification 261
Ramifications for Research 270
Fiction and the Emotions 272
But What About Mass Art? 275
5 Mass Art and Morality 291
Consequentialism, Propositionalism, and Identificationism 294
Clarificationism 319
Simulation, or Back to Identification? 342
6 Mass Art and Ideology 360
A Theory of Ideology 364
Ideology and Rhetoric 388
Envoi 413
Index 419
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