35 Aesthetics – Assessments

8.1 What Is Beauty, What Is Art? Submission

Denis Dutton’s lecture ends with these words: “Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? No, it’s deep in our minds. It’s a gift handed down from the intelligent skills and rich emotional lives of our most ancient ancestors. Our powerful reaction to images, to the expression of emotion in art, to the beauty of music, to the night sky, will be with us and our descendants for as long as the human race exists.” Do you think a case can be made, based on Dutton’s Darwinian perspective, that the nature of beauty is objective? or subjective? Explain your position based on points made in the lecture, in 100-150 words.

8.2 Aesthetic Experience and Judgement Discussion

Richard Seymour believes that we “feel” beauty, rather than “think” beauty. (Kant and Hume would agree!) He also describes how designers intentionally instill their creations with features intended to arouse feelings, what he calls a limbic response. Do you think that the responses he describes involve a disinterested attitude? Are they aesthetic experiences? Use examples from his talk to explain your answer.

8.2 Aesthetic Experience and Judgement Discussion

This assignment involves applying what you have learned about aesthetic judgement. Please pay close attention to these instructions: Do some browsing on the internet and choose an art image, preferably a fine-art painting. Save the painting and artist name, and internet location where you found it. Provide an art critique of this work of art from a disinterested viewpoint, making use of one or more of these theories: formalism, representationalism, emotionalism, and/or functionalism. Your submission should be a well written essay, 150-250 word. Include the artist’s name and the name of the work of art. I need to be able to find this image online in order to evaluate your submission. Do not include the image itself in your submission.


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