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Figuring Out Figurative Art: Contemporary Philosophers on Contemporary Paintings

written by Damien Freeman, Derek Matravers

Acumen Publishing Ltd | ISBN 9781844658039

Paperback – 240 pages


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In 1797 Friedrich Schlegel wrote ''philosophy of art usually lacks one of two things: either the philosophy, or the art.'' This collection of essays contains both the philosophy and the art. It brings together an international team of leading philosophers to address diverse philosophical issues raised by recent works of art. Each essay engages with a specific artwork and explores the connection between the image and the philosophical content and how philosophy can aid interpretation of the artwork.

The discussion ranges over political, ethical and religious concepts, such as apathy and irony, to standard problems in the philosophy of art, such as expression, style and depiction, as well as major movements in art history, such as Dadaism. Many of the contributors are distinguished in areas of philosophy other than aesthetics and are writing about art for the first time. All show how productive the engagement can be between philosophy, more generally, and art.

Contributors include Simon Blackburn, Noel Carroll, Tim Crane, Raymond Guess, Lydia Goehr, Jerold Levinson, Hallvard Lillehammer, Jesse Prinz and Barry Smith.

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