The Philosophy of Art / Edition 1

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"In this text, Stephen Davies provides an incisive account of the core subjects and questions in contemporary philosophy of art. Topics include the interpretation of art: the relation between art, culture, and our evolutionary heritage; the expression and arousal of emotion through art; the challenges posed by varieties of art over time and across cultures; and provocative puzzles about the value of art." Featuring full-color illustrations, examples, and questions for further reflection, The Philosophy of Art offers thoughtful discussion for anyone interested in the nature and appreciation of art.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is an outstanding achievement in pedagogical clarity and philosophical argument, and certainly is worth reading by students who seek an introduction to philosophy of art as well as by professionals who look for a well-argued commentary on...the key issues in the field. Without hesitation I recommend it to all. Thomas Heyd, Philosophy in Review

“A judicious and wide-ranging introduction to contemporary philosophy of art by one of its foremost practitioners. Davies’s book is notable for emphasizing both the biological and cultural dimensions of artmaking, for regularly keeping in view non-Western as well as Western modes of art, and for an exemplary degree of clarity and reader-friendliness.” Jerrold Levinson, University of Maryland

“Davies has contributed to almost every debate in contemporary philosophy of art. Clearly written, with intriguing examples, this book brings readers to the cutting edge of every core topic in aesthetics.” Dominic McIver Lopes, University of British Columbia

“This book sets a new standard for introductory books in aesthetics and philosophy of art. Brief but knowledgeable descriptions of examples show how philosophical questions arise and illustrate how various views might be challenged. Technical terms function as tools, not burdens. Applications and connections sections at the end of each chapter raise readers’ interest and show how much more there is to the issues discussed. Davies’s book is a pleasure to read and manages to enliven both philosophy and the way we think about the arts in general.” Susan Feagin, Temple University

"In the first volume in the new Foundations of the Philosophy of the Arts series by Blackwell, which is designed to provide crisp introductions to the fundamental general questions about art, as well as to questions about the several arts, Davies presents an insightful introduction to central topics and on-going debates in the philosophy of art." Pavel Sedlak, Centre for Arts and New Technologies in Praque

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Stephen Davies teaches philosophy at the University of Auckland. He is the author of Definitions of Art (1991), Musical Meaning and Expression (1994), Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Exploration (2001), and Themes in the Philosophy of Music (2003), and the editor of Art and Its Messages: Meaning, Morality, and Society (1997) and Art and Essence (2003).

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Table of Contents

1 Evolution and culture 1
2 Defining art 26
3 Aesthetics and the philosophy of art 52
4 Varieties of art 81
5 Interpretation 109
6 Expression and emotional responses 135
7 Pictorial representation and the visual arts 167
8 The value of art 199
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