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Art and Interpretation 

Art and Interpretation

An Anthology of Readings in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art

Edited by: Eric Dayton

Publication Date: January 01, 1999
599pp • Paperback
ISBN: 9781551111902 / 155111190X

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Art and Interpretation is a comprehensive anthology of readings on aesthetics. Its aim is to present fundamental philosophical issues in such a way as to create a common vocabulary for those from diverse backgrounds to communicate meaningfully about aesthetic issues. To that end, the editor has provided selections from a wide variety of challenging works in aesthetic theory, both classical and modern. The approach is often cross-disciplinary. Within the discipline of philosophy it seeks to balance readings from the analytic tradition with continental European, hermeneutical postmodern (including deconstructionist), and feminist readings.

The anthology is thus broadly conceived, but by grouping the readings into sections such as ‘Expression and Aesthetic object,’ ‘Psychology and Interpretation,’ ‘Marxist Theory,’ and ‘Culture, Gender, and Difference,’ it aims as well to provide depth of coverage for each topic or issue. The book opens with a historical section containing substantial selections from Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Shelley and Nietzsche; these readings introduce themes that recur and are developed in the remainder of the anthology.


“A very intelligent and wide-ranging collection.” — Ronald Moore, University of Washington, co-author, Puzzles in Art

Eric Dayton is a professor and former Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Saskatchewan. He has published extensively on such diverse topics as pragmatism, Wittgenstein, and the philosophy of C. I. Lewis.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]


Part 1. Historical Readings

Selections from Republic Book X
Selections from Symposium

Selections from Poetics

David Hume
Standard of Taste

Immanuel Kant
Selections from Analytic of the Beautiful
Selections from Analytic of the Sublime

Percy Bysshe Shelley
A Defence of Poetry

Friedrich Nietzsche
Selections from The Birth of Tragedy
On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense

Part 2. Expression and the Aesthetic Object

R.G. Collingwood
The Craft Theory of Art and Art as Expression

John Dewey
Art as Experience

Susanne Langer

Stephen Pepper
The Aesthetic Object and the Consummatory Field

Roman Ingarden
On the Phenomenological Formulation of the Aesthetic Objection

Monroe C. Beardsley
The Aesthetic Point of View

Mary Mothersill
The Judgement of Taste

Christine Battersby
Situating the Aesthetic: A Feminist Defence

Part 3. The Task of Definition

Ludwig Wittgenstein
On Family Resemblance and On Seeing As

Stanley Cavell
Excursus on Wittgenstein’s Vision of Language

Arthur C. Danto
Artworks and Real Things

Barbara Savedoff
The Art Object

George Dickie
The New Institutional Theory of Art

Susan L. Feagin
On Defining and Interpreting Art Intentionalistically

Jerrold Levinson
Defining Art Historically

Jenefer M. Robinson
Style and Personality in the Literary Work

Part 4. Psychology and Interpretation

Sigmund Freud
The Relation of the Poet to Day-Dreaming

Carl Gustav Jung
Psychology and Literature

Ursula K. LeGuin
The Child and the Shadow
Some Thoughts on Narrative

Part 5. Hermeneutics and Interpretation

Martin Heidegger
Selections from Being and Time
The Origin of the Work of Art

Hans-Georg Gadamer
The University of the Hermeneutical Problem

Paul Ricoeur
The Hermeneutical Function of Distanciation

E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
In Defense of the Author

Roland Barthes
The Death of the Author

Rosalind Krauss
Poststructuralism and the Paraliterary

Joseph Margolis
Reinterpreting Interpretation

Part 6. Marxist Theory

Karl Marx
Alienated Labour

Walter Benjamin
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Peter Bürger
The Theory of the Avant-Garde and Critical Literary Science

Herbert Marcuse
The Aesthetic Dimension

Part 7. (Post)modernism

Clement Greenberg
Modernist Painting

Jürgen Habermas
Modernity—An Incomplete Project

Jean-Françis Lyotard
Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?

Linda Hutcheon
Representing the Postmodern

Ihab Hassan
The Culture of Postmodernism

Part 8. Culture, Gender and Difference

Andrea Huyssen
Mass Culture as Woman: Modernism’s Other

Janet Wolff
Women’s Knowledge and Women’s Art

Christine Battersby
The Margins Within Post-modernism and the Female Author

Naomi Scheman
The Body Politic/The Impolitic Body/Bodily Politics

James Clifford
On Ethnographic Allegory
On Collecting Art and Culture

Frances E. Mascia-Lees, Patricia Sharpe and Ballerino Cohen
The Postmodernist Turn In Anthropology: Cautions from a Feminist Perspective

Jean-Françis Lyotard
Universal History and Cultural Differences

Richard Rorty
Cosmopolitanism Without Emancipation: A Response to Lyotard

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Art and Interpretation

1999 • 599pp • Paperback • 9781551111902 / 155111190X

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.