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REVISION NOTES FOR THE WHOLE VALUE OF ART TOPIC ­ AQA AS PHILOSOPHY

We value art because of its expressive qualities

ARISTOTLE
Aristotle provides one of the earliest accounts that art can affect us emotionally
He outline's the term CATHARSIS ­ literally means `cleansing' or `purging'
He uses this term…

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motive. Art must be a certain type of `pure' expression.
For Collingwood, this was certainly the case, he believed that a truly expressive artist
has no other motives for art than artistic expression itself; so moved is the artist they do
not know the outcome of their expression until the…

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Emotion as Irrational

Emotional expression can be viewed as irrational and therefore dangerous
Plato particularly thought that this aspect of art should be controlled and regulated
German Romantics had a sympathy for suicide and saw it as a valid response to
emotional trauma
This can be seen as irrational as…

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It allows for greater understanding of life
This can be seen in valuing art because of its ability to imitate real life
By looking at representations we can gain a deeper view of existence.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is particularly famous because of its recreation of Russian
aristocratic…

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KANT
In his Critique of Judgement Kant's criteria for assessing Art remains influential to this day. He
describes four `moments' or stages in the aesthetic judgement of beauty.

1. A feeling characterised by disinterestedness.
There should be no feelings of possession or strong emotions aroused. For example, unlike
Pornography, a…

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Although Hume suggests that aesthetic judgements are subjective, he does defend that
there is such a thing as a standard of taste.
This is the collective resource of humanity derived from experience which results in a broad
consensus about a common human sentiment.

1. He suggests the `test of time'…

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This may lead us with new views on the world, however is it really informing us or can we find
this insight from other avenues?
John Boyne's Boy in The Striped Pyjamas is a fictional novel but actually portrays an
informative and deeply moving account of Nazi Germany. Perhaps this…

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E.g. We do not look at a painting of a sad lady and infer that she has a chemical imbalance
and therefore she is feeling emotions of sadness. We look to see why she is sad.
It is up to us as individuals to integrate competing visions of human life…

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Kant's account of aesthetic appreciation sits very naturally with the argument of formalism.
The states of mind appropriate for aesthetic appreciation, such as disinterestness,
universality, neutrality and distance would appear to leave you appreciating the formal
qualities.

We value art because of its `artistic' qualities

PROBLEMS
Does form exist?

Form…

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Perhaps we can, I can appreciate the forms of Hitler by Conrad Hommel but I do
appreciate the formal qualities.
With Music especially, how can we separate the rhythm from the words of the song? Is music
such as Kanye West's truly art though? Perhaps to expressionists it would be.

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