Speaking of Art
As the title of this book was meant to suggest, its subject is the way we talk about (and write about) works of art: or, rather, one of the ways, namely, the way we describe works of art for critical purposes. Be cause I wished to restrict my subject matter in this way, I have made a sharp, and no doubt largely artificial distinction between describing and evaluating. And I must, at the outset, guard against a misreading of this distinction to which I have left myself open. In distinguishing between evaluative and descriptive aesthetic judgments, I am not saying that when I assert "X is p," where p is a "descriptive" term like "unified," or "delicate," or "garish," I may not at the same time be evaluating X too; and I am not saying that when I make the obviously "evaluative" assertion "X is good," I may not be describing X. Clearly, if I say "X is unified" I am evaluating X in that unity is a good-making feature of works of art; and as it is correct in English at least to call an evaluation a description, I do not want to suggest that if an assertion is evaluative, it cannot be de scriptive (although there have been many philosophers who have thought this indeed to be the case).
- Paperback | 144 pages
- 155 x 235 x 8.13mm | 280g
- 31 Jul 1973
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Dordrecht, Netherlands
- Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1973
- 1 Illustrations, black and white; 144 p. 1 illus.
Table of contents
I. The Condition-Governed Model.- Unity in Music: A Test Case.- Refutations and Rejoinders.- Monothematic Structure and the Condition-Governed Model.- Recapitulation.- II. Two Concepts of Taste.- Taste and Non-Taste.- An Ability to Notice or See or Tell.- De Gustibus.- Recapitulation.- III. Are Aesthetic Terms Ungovernable.- Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic.- Aesthetic Terms and Aesthetic Discourse.- Aesthetic Terms and Novel Objects.- Aesthetic Terms and Taste.- Recapitulation.- IV. Are Things Always What They Seem?.- Further Reflections on the Behavior of Aesthetic Terms.- The Doctrine of Aesthetic Vision.- Animadversions on the "Doctrine".- Recapitulation.- V. Duck-Rabbit and Other Perplexities.- Aspects or Qualities.- Aspect-Perceiving and Aesthetic Perceiving.- The Logic of Aspect-Ascribing.- Recapitulation.- VI. Art and Objectivity.- Two Footnotes to Plato.- Aesthetic Terms and Aesthetic Qualities.- Aesthetic Terms and Aesthetic Disagreements.- Conclusion.