Presents a theory of art which is at once universal in its general conception and historically-grounded in its attention to aesthetic practices in diverse cultures. Argues that art, especially today, enjoys a special kind of autonomy but that it has, nevertheless, important social and political responsibilities.
In this newest book, the author presents a theory of art which is at once universal in its general conception and historically-grounded in its attention to aesthetic practices in diverse cultures. The author argues that especially today art not only enjoys a special kind of autonomy but also has important social and political responsibilities.
Deutsch posits that an art work has as its intentionality the striving to be aesthetically forceful, meaningful, and beautiful, with each of these dimensions culturally situated. Working from traditional imitation and expression theories, he argues that the manner of an artwork's coming into being and one's experience of it constitutes an integral whole.
Selected aspects of painting, poetry, dance, architecture, films, and music are offered to deepen an understanding of the concepts presented. Also included are several inter-connected themes focusing on the difficult and controversial issues of interpreting art, truth in art, and the relations between art and morality, and art and religion.
Eliot Deutsch is Professor and Chair of Graduate Studies in the Philosophy Department at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He is the author of eleven books including Religion and Spirituality also published by SUNY Press.
"Deutsch addresses one of philosophy's enduring questions. He offers a way of understanding how art can be understood both as having its own integrity and as having roots in spirituality and spiritual values. The book sparkles with insight; it draws on wide-ranging interdisciplinary and cross-cultural sources; and it is written in an impeccable, effortless, pleasing style." — Michael Washburn, Indiana University South Bend
"It deals with a broad range of Western and Eastern philosophy on art, and the writing is always clear, concise, and easy to follow. Deutsch brings a very balanced assessment of theoretical approaches to the question--approaches as diverse as Plato, Derrida, and Rasa theory. This is a significant accomplishment. He exhibits a sensitivity to the spiritual in art that is both broad and deep. It is the work of a mature scholar, fully in command of his sources." -- Harold Coward, University of Victoria