Explanation and Value in the Arts

Overview

In Explanation and value in the arts, art historians, literary theorists, and philosophers explore the sources of interest in literature and the fine arts, the intimate relation between aesthetic and other values, the involvement of values in the explanations of works, and the determining role of power. The first chapters consider the construction of value in works. Michael Podro analyzes the density or presence of the medium, arguing that explanations must account for this significance or fail to grasp value. ...
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Overview

In Explanation and value in the arts, art historians, literary theorists, and philosophers explore the sources of interest in literature and the fine arts, the intimate relation between aesthetic and other values, the involvement of values in the explanations of works, and the determining role of power. The first chapters consider the construction of value in works. Michael Podro analyzes the density or presence of the medium, arguing that explanations must account for this significance or fail to grasp value. Walter Biemel and Wayne C. Booth propose that philosophy and morality are crucial to aesthetic valuation. The following chapters examine the construction of value in the study of the arts. Mark Roskill looks at what "extra-aesthetic" considerations make particular works historically important, and contends that literature and art history invite distinctive criteria. Svetlana Alpers assesses the contribution of Panofsky, among others, to show how methodological commitments in art history import assumptions about value; while Gregg Horowitz argues that the study of works of fine art is something other than a merely theoretical enterprise of trying to grasp the nature of objects from the past. Questions of power underlie Jon Elster's contribution, an analysis of the nature of creativity, and Pierre Bourdieu's, a philosophical and sociological construal of the principles for an explanation of cultural objects. In the final chapters, Richard Eldridge and Noel Carroll take up this theme, examining the nature and role of ideology.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Editors' acknowledgments
1 Interests, values, and explanations 1
2 Fiction and reality in painting 43
3 Franz Kafka: the necessity for a philosophical interpretation of his work 55
4 On relocating ethical criticism 71
5 Explanation and value: what makes the visual arts so different, so appealing? 94
6 Is art history? 109
7 Objectivity and valuation in contemporary art history 127
8 Fullness and parsimony: notes on creativity in the arts 146
9 Principles of a sociology of cultural works 173
10 Althusser and ideological criticism of the arts 190
11 Film, rhetoric, and ideology 215
Index 238
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