Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy)
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Whether art can be wholly autonomous has been repeatedly challenged in the modern history of aesthetics. In this collection of specially-commissioned chapters, a team of experts discuss the extent to which art can be explained purely in terms of aesthetic categories.
Covering examples from Philosophy, Music and Art History and drawing on continental and analytic sources, this volume clarifies the relationship between artworks and extra-aesthetic considerations, including historic, cultural or economic factors. It presents a comprehensive overview of the question
of aesthetic autonomy, exploring its relevance to both philosophy and the comprehension of specific artworks themselves. By closely examining how the creation of artworks, and our judgements of these artworks, relate to society and history, Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy provides an insightful and sustained discussion of a major question in aesthetic philosophy.
art seems to lie most of all in its pure preoccupation with the invention and arrangement of spaces, surfaces, shapes, colours, etc., to the exclusion of whatever is not necessarily implicated in these factors.12 Greenberg’s contention that avant-garde artists turned their attention away from the subject matter of common experience and towards the medium in which they work allowed him to present abstract art not as a break with earlier forms of art but as a distillation of its central concerns.
art. The thesis of the ‘end of art’ is, in Danto’s own words, ‘a story about stories’, fully compatible with his claim that art today shows ‘no sign whatever of internal exhaustion’.23 The dissolution of modernism in the 1960s does not simply mark the terminus of another period in the history of art but the end of art as a historical enterprise: since anything can be an artwork, there can no longer be a progressive narrative of the development of art. Danto’s account of this situation is cast in
in Beethoven’s late works – at least those late works he considers to exhibit his late style. In brief, he considers that Beethoven’s late works enact freedom, in the way that they break free from convention and release individual details from their integration into the musical whole. This also has a political resonance. But the salient notion of freedom here is the Kantian notion of Mündigkeit that Adorno takes up and reworks in his own idiom. In the context of Adorno’s discussion of the late
the formal sense this passage appears superfluous, since it comes after a quasi-retransition, after which the recapitulation is expected to follow immediately. But when the recapitulation fails to appear it is made clear that formal identity is insufficient, manifesting itself as true only at the moment when it, as the real, is opposed by the possible which lies outside identity. The D♭ major theme is new: it is not reducible to the economy of motivic unity.12 Here Adorno begins to trace a
but, due to their autonomy’s being constituted by heteronomy, come, through autonomous activity, to recapitulate the structure of heteronomous spheres (rationality, and social organization consequent on this rationality). This examination, then, of the relationship between autonomy and heteronomy in the context of the constitutive processes of the artwork has begun to close the gap between the autonomy of the artwork and its socio-critical nature. Looking at the relationship between autonomy and