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Additional resources for Analytic Approaches to Aesthetics: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide
Lyas 1997 is a good introduction for beginners in philosophy, with engaging examples and straightforward exposition. Townsend 1997 is more demanding but full of argument. Neill and Ridley 2007 uses a format that is highly effective for teaching: pairs of articles taking different sides in a debate. ‣Carroll, Noël. Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction. London: Routledge. 1999. An accessible and clearly written introduction to some of the main theories of art, with carefully argued critical analyses of each.
Efforts in this endeavor are helpfully summarized in Adajian 2007 and, at greater length, in Davies 1991, which attempts to categorize different kinds of definitions. Weitz 1956 famously argues that the very exercise is misguided, given the creative nature of art. Gaut 2000 is a bridge between Weitz’s anti-essentialism and those that propose full-scale definitions. Other philosophical works, notably Dickie 1983 and Levinson 1979, have insisted that a definition is possible, once formulated in the right terms.
A clear and comprehensive overview of the principal positions on aesthetic experience. ‣Levinson, Jerrold. ” In Aesthetic Concepts: Essays After Sibley. Edited by Emily Brady and Jerrold Levinson, 61–80. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. A defense of aesthetic realism in terms of dispositions in objects to afford distinctive phenomenal experiences, which are separable from evaluative attitudes taken to those experiences. Quite demanding. ‣Sibley, Frank. ” In Approaches to Aesthetics: Collected Papers on Philosophical Aesthetics.