Reason and Controversy in the Arts

Reason and Controversy in the Arts

by Mortimer R. Kadish, Barry S. Hewlett
     
 

This study is a fresh and original attempt to liberate the theory of criticism from the limitations of connoisseurship, and the assumptions of aesthetics from the difficulties and paradoxes of aesthetic relativism. It presents a picture of what rationality in the assessment of the arts would be like if one were expected to justify one’s decisions in and about

Overview

This study is a fresh and original attempt to liberate the theory of criticism from the limitations of connoisseurship, and the assumptions of aesthetics from the difficulties and paradoxes of aesthetic relativism. It presents a picture of what rationality in the assessment of the arts would be like if one were expected to justify one’s decisions in and about the arts.

Kadish focuses upon the way in which competent and reasonable people express their differences, not upon the way they instruct novices. Among good critics, the author proposes, differences are not managed as differences concerning matters of taste, nor would anyone presume otherwise were it not for a prior and gratuitous choice of a context of consumption for considering the arts. The author examines the hypothesis that differences of opinion in artistically relevant controversy are in a fundamental sense practical, that when critics of the arts differ seriously, proposals for the proper conduct of the arts and a procedure for interpretation of the arts are what is at issue.

To understand the special logic of controversy in the arts Kadish compares that controversy with legally relevant and scientifically relevant controversies. Finally, the arts and criticism are found to be parts of a coherent enterprise the criteria of which are generated in an evolving practice, as are the criteria of law. This illuminating discourse is of continuing relevance to those interested in aesthetics.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It is encouraging to find a philosopher writing, not simply an article, but a book on the characteristics of genuine arguments that are also artistically relevant.” —Journal of Aesthetic Education

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412811231
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
08/19/2010
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
293
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Mortimer R. Kadish was professor of philosophy at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of many articles, reviews in philosophical journals, and numerous books including, Point of Honor, Toward an Ethic of Higher Education, and The Ophelia Paradox: An Inquiry into the Conduct of Our Lives.

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