Philosophy Vision: Elements of Aesthetics

To interpret beauty and art, an artist must provide some kind of intention. Without intention, you can’t involve the rest of the elements, symbolism, metaphor, or expression. The beauty of intention is that the public does not need to meet the same ends as the artist did when he/she initially created the art form whether it’s poetry, paintings, sculpture, etc.

The public can’t always have the same mean as the artist, is of one these two, nor the public does not want to know the artist’s intention or simply we can’t know. For example, the passing of specific artists, the likes as of Shakespeare, Mozart, or the late Willem De Kooning.

Without intention, there cannot be art. A critic also must have the knowledge that meta-criticism also has to remain in the objective sense.  Therefore a critic cannot bring psychology or their personal feelings in judging an art piece. So the argument of whether monkeys can or cannot intend art, is NOT philosophy or meta-criticism of art. Therefore, it is invalid. Nor can monkeys’ paintings interpret symbolism, metaphors, or expression. Again, there is no intention, therefore it cannot be art nor can be critiqued as art.

De Kooning’s art piece, “Door to the River” is a prime example to differentiate between weak and strong intentions. Regardless of its weakness, it still has some kind of intention unlike monkey paintings. As modern art evolves with today’s society, abstract paintings have become popular. The lack of knowledge with his painting could cause various arguments within beauty and art easily.

According to Beardsley, poetry is yet another strong example of abstract art. The idea of the complexity of the message, whether it involves symbolism, expression, or metaphor, is the grand critique. One could not possibly know the intention of the poem, unless the author puts performance in his/her speech. Depending on the poem, a piece of that particular art can easily become a weak intention or a strong intention. Again, there is still intention.

However, the artists’ intention may or may not fail. According to Beardsley, the only proof is the work. “Judging a work is like judging a pudding or a machine.” The meaning of the quote is in order to get some kind of intention, whether the artists, authors or the critics, one must test the piece. For example, in order to get the intention of a poet’s, one must read the art form. Regardless if the final product has met the artist’s intention or created a new from the audience, there is still intention.

The simplicity of the rebuttal that all authors have intention makes the intention argument that much stronger. Yes, all authors and artists (Homo sapiens) have some kind of intention.

De Kooney, Willem. Door to the River. 1960. Abstract Expression. Whitney Museum of
American Art, New York, USofA.
Wimsatt Jr., W. K. & Beardsley, Monroe C. The Verbal Icon: Studies in the Meaning of Poetry.
Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. 1954. Print



Philosophical Vision: Institutional Theory

The institutional theory is the most complex theory in the aesthetics field. Also, the most recent that covers the definition of, “what is art?” According to this theory, the argument holds, “X is an artwork, if the “art world” says it is. The art world consists of individuals who have intellectual knowledge on aesthetics AND history of art.

Art therapy also backs up Collingwood’s theory, as art is supposed to express emotions. Many war veterans, amongst other victims of life’s disaster, use art therapy as a process in a treatment to recover from their pasts. Whether it’s painting, writing, or some other form of art, war veterans become artists.

In this case, therapists are considered the “art world.” If the art piece is not exposed to anyone else. Therefore, it is still classified as art in the sense of the classificatory definition. The piece is an artifact created by humans and a status is conferred even if it is just one individual. (“Emily Dickinson”) It is still not none. Therefore it is still art.

However, not all art is revealed to the art world nor was intended to be exposed to the art world initially. Therefore it can’t be art according to the early institutional theory. This includes the poems of Emily Dickenson that weren’t published until after her passing and also the likes of art therapy. Therefore, theorists could argue that these particular art pieces are not indeed art.

The transition of the institutional theory from early to later, excludes the conferring sense. So therefore, even if the “art world” cannot see an art piece, it is still art, even if it is not intended for the public eye. Therefore, art pieces created in art therapy and Emily Dickenson’s poems are still considered art.

“Emily Dickinson: Lives of a Poet.” New York: Braziller, 1986. Print.

Philosophical Vision: Art vs. Entertainment

The definition of art should fall under Wittgenstein’s open concept. Clarifying if it is ‘good’ art or bad art is irrelevant. The economic value does not always do justice for ‘good’ art and majority of the time, the artist him/herself does not get the awards of value directly until late.

Collingwood’s argument is sketchy, especially against more of the art that falls under the modern genre. Wittgenstein’s open concept also involves the evolving of art from the beginning of time to the present time. A strong argument like today’s film industry is strictly entertainment, but not art or if it is art, it is merely just ‘bad’ art. However, ‘bad’ art is still art. Therefore, it forges a weak argument.

With Wittgenstein’s open concept argument, Hume’s long list can also be in play. All theories that give necessary and sufficient definitions have just as strong counterarguments with the biggest one being the evolution of art in itself and the turning of time.

If art is not entertainment, than Shakespeare is not an artist, either. That can also argue for Kabuki Theatre in Japan is also not art, but craft. No one can argue that Shakespeare or Kabuki Theatere is ‘bad’ art or can they? This argument would fall a subjective approach, rather than objective. One must be alert of the direction, fore the equation is now motus tollens;  entertainment is not art, therefore if it’s entertainment, it’s not art.

Art and entertainment can co-exist within each other. In today’s film and movie productions, you see that in the majority of the final product. A primary example of how today’s film industry can still provide art within its product is Black Swan (Aronofsky). There are different levels of art being displayed in the final product, including but the not limited too, music, fashion, writing, and acting. It is all art coming together for one final piece to be displayed. The same would have fallen with Shakespeare’s plays back in the  16th-17th century.

Aronofsky, Darren, dir. Black Swan. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2010. Film