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Art Today and Philosophical Aesthetics

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A Missing Dialogue

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The demise of grand narratives of art, and the emergence of “post-historical art,” have produced a chasm between the tradition of philosophical aesthetics and the production and reception of contemporary art, a divide that has deprived philosophy of the fundamental role it had played, arguably, until the end of the Modern period. The goal of this paper, which focuses primarily on art after 2000, is to investigate possible venues and directions in the current production and reception of art that might lead to a reconciliation of these two poles and to the advancement of new philosophical strategies for the analysis of art. Specifically, I will concentrate on three aspects of the experience of art today: first, the emphasis, in the production and reception of artworks, on enactive accounts of artistic experience; secondly, the importance given to the ethical content of artworks and to their ability to trigger ethical, social, and political reflection; and, lastly, the growing role of the art market and its structures in the overall appreciation of the arts.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Fairfield University FairfieldUSA


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