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articles in english
1. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
David Brubaker The Beauty of Literati Strokes: Shi Tao, Merleau-Ponty and Communion with Nature
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How is the painter’s body related to the process of making a beautiful brush stroke? Those interested in this question will benefit from Jianping Gao’s findings, in The Expressive Act in Chinese Painting, a book that presents the aesthetic ideas of Chinese literati painters and art critics. Gao’s assigns five features to the actual practice of painting that results in the making of brush strokes that literati audiences would call “naturally beautiful.” These five are the interaction of idea and body, the concentration on paper, the suspension of the perception of natural objects, the emergence of a “pure self”, and the intersection of self with nature. I begin with the practice of concentration on paper and find that the literati painter observes the whole of the visible paper. After that, I introduce Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s late writings on the flesh of the body that belongs to the working painter. By developing the idea of an innate, interior whole of visibility, which persists through fleeting perceptions and Gestalts, Merleau-Ponty offers us a way to describe the individual painter’s innate corporeality, the transformation of thepainter, and intimate contact with nature. With Merleau-Ponty’s term “flesh of the body,” I return to interpret the five features of the literati process of making naturally beautiful strokes. I conclude that the literati writings help to reshape present-day aesthetics, and I note the philosophical language for a non-physical corporeality helps us appreciate the ideas of Chinese literati painters.
2. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Curtis L. Carter Symbol and Function in Contemporary Architecture
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The focus here will be on the tension between architecture’s symbolic role and its function as a space to house and present art. ‘Symbolic’ refers both to a building as an aesthetic or sculptural form and secondly to its role in expressing civic identity. ‘Function’ refers to the intended purpose or practical use apart from its role as a form of art. As an art form, it serves important symbolic purposes; its practical purposes are linked to serving individual and community functions requiring the delineation of space. In the present context of museum architecture, certain museum buildings are more likely to be seen as a sculptural object than as functioning buildings. The reasons for this development derive in part from unresolved issues pertaining to the respective roles of symbolic and practicalfunction as is seen in the analysis of architecture provided by G. W. F. Hegel, Rudolf Arnheim and Nelson Goodman. The vocabularies of contemporary architects such Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava do not follow the abstract geometrical patterns of Le Corbusier or Louis Kahn who envisioned a universal vocabulary of architectural forms derived from industrial technical forms that underscored Modernist conventions in architecture.By looking at this issue in the contexts provided by the theoretical discussions of Hegel, Arnheim and Goodman, it is possible to see more clearly the importance of examining with a critical eye the relative place of symbolism and function in museum architecture, and to question whether current museum practice has gone astray in allowing the sculptural symbolism to become the dominant element. When either its symbolic or its practical aspects are out of balance the result is sure to be unsatisfactory architecture. If the past is a reliable guide, it works best when the symbolic (sculptural) and the practical in architecture are worked out in harmony with each other.
3. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Sixto J. Castro The Eschatological Character of Contemporary Art Theory: A Metaxological Essay
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Along 19th and 20th centuries, art became a sort of new religion, sometimes coexisting peacefully with the institutional one, sometimes trying to provide what the institutional religion was not able to provide any more. Nowadays, art has adopted many of the solutions, topics and theories that theology has handled since it was born. Arthur C. Danto treats art as a reality whose history is over (and so, a escathological reality) and also as a metaxological (metaxy=between) reality dwelling between two realms. Thus, we cannot decide by pure perceptive means whether something is art or not. This consideration has important consequences for art theory.
4. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Elizabeth Cranley Towards an Aesthetico-Ethical Theory: Mapping the Connections between Ethics and Aesthetics
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In this paper I will explore the philosophical modes of connectivity between ethics and aesthetics. I argue first, that the traditional ethical theories of deontology, consequentialism and virtue ethics can be mapped onto the aesthetic theories of formalism, functionalism and taste. Second, I argue that we can see threesimilar themes running through the literature that explicitly addresses the interdependence of ethics and aesthetics. Finally, I will outline this body of literature, which I shall call ‘aestheticoethical’ theory, using the three categories of essential, instrumental and existential connection. The philosophical landscape I amoutlined in this paper represents the groundwork for a larger pedagogical project. I argue that the traditional ethical theory is limited when it comes to teaching ethics to students going into creative industries like advertising. I propose that these three modes of aesthetico-ethical theory can be used to construct an alternative theoretical framework for teaching ethics at the intersection of creativity and commercial practice. Is philosophy relevant to everyday life? Is it not too abstract and general? The knowledge of priests, psychologists or physicians is as abstract and general, yet its relevance is not contested. Is not its relevance limited to the case of the rare sage which is both able to discuss complex philosophical matters and ready to adopt “the philosophical attitude” to life? Suchpopular notions ignore controversies with regard to the existence of such sages, the content of their alleged wisdom, or the nature or impact of their “philosophical attitude”. Modern philosophy is generally much more skeptical, realistic, pluralistic and therefore “democratic” than the elitist classics. It does not trust myths about the “good life” of the wise, nor ignore their preoccupation with death.
5. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Montserrat Crespín Perales Nishida Kitarô's First Notion of Beauty
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Although we cannot find any Aesthetics system in the works of NISHIDA Kitarõ (1870-1945), the most significant and influential Japanese philosopher of the twentieth-century, one of his central themes is the role of art and aesthetics in relation with morality and religion. His aesthetics approaches are magnificent examples of his aim to overcome the innate dualism that sustains modern epistemology and a door, apparently hidden, to a better understanding of all his speculative scheme of philosophy. This paper attempts to throw light to the importance of the first aesthetic approximation developed by Nishida eleven years before the publication of Zen no Kenkyû [ 善 の 研究 ] (An Inquiry into the Good) (1911) and twenty-three years before the publication of the more accurate system of aesthetics that we read in Geijutsu to dôtoku [芸術 と 道徳] (Art and Morality) (1923). We will analyze the small essay entitled "Bi no Setsumei" [美 の 説明] ("An explanation of Beauty") (1900) and Nishida's first definition of beauty as muga [無我] (self-effacement or ecstasy).
6. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Dai Xun Dewesternization and Resinicization: Issues and Methods of Chinese in the Global Era
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Since the 1990s, contemporary Chinese aesthetics has radually fallen into depressions and became silence after the two heated domestic debates in the 1950s and 1980s. Nowadays it is high time for Chinese scholars to make reflections on these setbacks and frustrations. Firstly we need to clarify what are the real problems that contemporary Chinese aesthetics encounters. To be short, that is, the arrival of globalization has caused a series of profound turns from aesthetics to arts. With the further expansion and penetration of globalization, theoretical aesthetic subjects and relevant problems are more salient, including the shift of contemporary aesthetic research paradigm, the basic method that we borrow western theories to interpret Chinese art works and aesthetic phenomena, the constant advancing interdisciplinary research, etc. The author’s main aim in this paper will be to explore some workable methods, which are significant to the development of the present Chinese aesthetics in this new century.
7. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
José Fernández Quintano Philosophy of Paleolithic Art
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The Paleolithic art interpretation is still a polemical subject. Nearly 300 caves covered with Paleolithic paintings have been discovered and more than 90% are located in Spain and in France. Surprisingly, more than half the painted illustrations are abstract patterns such as dots and lines. The high realism of naturalist figures also stands out. We will present the four groups of theories that have been formulated since the end of the XIXth century in order to interpret the Paleolithic art: the artistic theory from Lartet and Piette; the magical hunting theory from anthropologists such as Tylor and Frazer and archeologists like Breuil; the structuralist theory from Raphael, Leroi- Gourhan and Laming-Emperaire; and lastly the shamanist theory from Lewis-Williams and Clottes. We will also refer to the agglutinative theory gathering all of these from Ucko and Rosefeld. Afterwards I will offer my own thought. Paleolithic paintings are the expression the life led by every generation of the clan. The panels or the set of animals as much as the painted signs are their own History collection.
8. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Elga Freiberga The Problem of Affects in Aesthetics: Burke, Lyotard and Ranciere
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I was more excited by Jacques Ranciere’s idea about aesthetics being, in his opinion, a special way of thinking (mode de pensee) that works of art provoke and that tends to show what they are like as art objects. Aesthetics then (following this intention) would not be viewed as a discipline akin to art theory that wouldexamine the structure of the work of art, its peculiarities, conditions of arising, et cetera, all that attests either to its objectivity or subjectivity. Ranciere underscores the special (in the style of Hegel and Romanticist philosophy) regime of thinking about art where the idea is not yet an idea, but is what is not yet being thought. In spite of the fact that Ranciere’s declarations refer to S. Freud’s theory of the unconscious that, in his opinion, is closely linked with the way of artistic thinking and possibly can be expressed in no other way but through the medium of artistic thinking. The same way refers to the basic concepts of Freud’s psychoanalysis including also the unconscious and the ideas on complexes, especially on the Oedipus complex. It is interesting that Ranciere compares the framework ofthe dramatic nature of Oedipus’ fate with the basic fluctuations of aesthetics and art and namely – just like Oedipus is also the one who experiences everything absolutely and is completely expressed in action so the character of aesthetics and art is hidden in the contradictions between activities and sufferings or action and passions. This theme just like the question of the extreme poles of understanding aesthetics – pleasure and pain is comparable with the question of the determination of aesthetics and also art that grasps human experience in figural bodily shapes because that is the way of discerning the thought that is not yet being thought, but is hidden in bodily or animated figures. This tradition or historical regime, I think, is not to be discovered as a rectilinear trajectory; it manifests itself in a contradictory and sporadic way, frequently as an interlude between crucial conclusions and an essential interest pointing towards the ambivalence of art that referring to the words of the early modernist poet Charles Baudelaire: “I am the wound and the knife” would mark these relationships between action and its effect that could also attest to the painful birth of the thought in the not thought yet or else the negative character of aistheton.
9. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Alec Gordon The Philosophical Poetics of Counter-World, Anti-World, and Ideal World: Some Reflections
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What might the project be of lyric poetry in late global capitalism in the early years of the new millennium which acknowledges both a post-romantic and modernist lineage, and which faces the critical challenge of postmodernist theorizing? This paper endeavors to respond to this question forwarding the Adorno-inspired viewpoint that the praxes of individual lyric poems reveal orientations of affirmation or negation be they intended or not. The thesis is stated that the “arguments” of modern poets are creative litigations posing counter-worlds, constituting anti-worlds, and projecting ideal worlds. The philosophical anthropology that informs this thesis focuses on the homo duplex conception of man as a double being—as a unique human individual and as members of thehuman species socialized into the social life-world. Thus a counterworld privileges the human subject in society as homo externus, whereas an anti-world centers on the human subject as homo internus opposed, at odds, or turned away from the external social life-world. These reflections finally concentrate on Northrop Frye’s idea of a “third order of experience” that, in his words, contrasts with “an existing world and a world which may not exist but is pointed toby the articulate orders of experience . . . this world is frequently called… an unborn world, a world that never quite enters existence.”
10. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Viorel Guliciuc Fractal Art as Genuine Art
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There is a whole discussion around the genuine/non genuine appurtenance of the Fractal Art to the Art (Ken Keller, Tad Boniecki, Noel Huntley a.o.). Fractal Art is a new way to manipulate shapes, colors and light. It is a subclass of the visual digital art that could describe as that art form produced using a computer (PC, Mac), fractal and graphical software and output devices (monitors, plotters, printers etc.) or using fractal rules and traditional painting techniques (example: Pollock) as essential tools in the creative process. It is crucial to understand that the use of a computer is not a sine qua non condition, even most of the fractal artworks were digitally realized. Fractal Art is an experimental art, engaging in a new way the relations between Creator and Work. Fractal Art has a genuine equilibrium between “pragmatic” and “theoretic”. It is rather about “discovering” than “manufacturing”, rather “evocation” than “mimesis”. The conclusion has to be: Fractal Art is a genuine art form.