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|Title:||Aesthetics in the Age of Reason|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis examines the societal forces which have helped shape the present-day form of the institutionalization, criticism, and appreciation of art. Specifically, it examines the influence of modern thought on our present understanding of art. First, we examine how modernists have typically 100ked at art. Both the enlightening aspects as well as the deficiencies of modernist aesthetics are uncovered. Also, with the help of Jurgen Habermas, we examine a modernist societal approach to aesthetics. Second, the fundamental philosophical presuppositions of modernity are uncovered so that the societal forces that have helped to make art an autonomous institutionalized field of expertise can be examined. In passing, we discuss the concept of "lifeworld". We then examine the explanatory powers of considering the arts as forms of language. Third, as Habermas's social theory indicates, an excursion into the theory of argumentation provides indications of the mechanisms involved in the understanding of art. We consider the rhetorical, dialectical, and logical aspects of both non-verbal and linguistic argumentation. This provides us with a forum for discussing Habermas' s notion of an ideal speech situation, Gadamer's concept of the various modes of iii experiencing tradition and its parallel with the experiencing of art, and Quine's thesis of the indeterminacy of translation and what it implies for non-verbal forms of art. Fourth, we examine the implications and explanatory powers of Habermas's three-world distinction, which is, in turn, derived from the modernist presupposition of the distinction between subject and object. With these distinctions, we can see that the existence of a highly specialized field of expertise surrounding art and notions such as "art for art's sake" are not accidental. To conclude, we examine emotional life and its implications for modern notions of art.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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