What is Philosophy of Art? Theories and relationship with society
The value of art is an important problem for the philosophy of art. The value of art determines what is good or bad for works of art. The value of art can also be seen in the social, cultural and historical context of works of art. The value of art can also include the aesthetic, ethical and political dimensions.
What is Philosophy of Art?
Philosophy of art is a philosophical discipline that studies the nature, function and value of art. While this discipline discusses the characteristics of art and what works of art are, it also deals with the social, cultural and historical context of art. Art philosophy wants to think about what art is, what it can do and what it should do.
The nature of art and what constitutes works of art are among the fundamental questions of art philosophy. The question of what works of art are directly related to the definition of art. Philosophy of art tries to find the essence of art and develops different theories about what this essence is. For some, works of art are objects of aesthetic pleasure, for others, works of art are meaningful in their own right and appeal directly to individual experience.
Aesthetics and Art Philosophy
The field of historical existence includes works that are the product of all human actions, all human achievements and events that have passed through human and human societies. Because of the problem of individuality, meaning and purpose that emerged in the field of historical existence, it is necessary to examine separately all human actions in this field and the human achievements, phenomena and phenomenon groups that are the product of these actions.
Art, this kind of human action and achievement, is such a field, that is, it is a field of historical existence. Works of art, like knowledge, are the product of private action; And when it comes to works of art, poetry and literature, painting and sculpture, music, architecture, etc. such as human achievements. Art history examines the works of art, which are the product of certain human actions, by classifying them into genres and ages, from the point of view prevailing in a particular era, starting from the style and other characteristics of these works.
However art historians act; once they break through the field of existence called art, as every scientist does; thus they overlook the relationship between the different arts.
Moreover, what do people want with these works of art, which are called art? What significance do these actions have for people? What do people want to achieve with their actions? Are there criteria and principles, namely artistic values, that guide these actions of people? If such criteria and values exist, is there a relationship between them and ethical values? Is there a relationship between works of art and the world of existence, between art and people and life? Or is art nothing but an empty dream? Or is it some kind of information?
Investigating all these and similar problems cannot be the task of any art or literary history. Such a form of study can only be a philosophical affair.
Theories of Philosophy of Art
The philosophy of art approach to these questions is realized through three different approaches. These agreements are;
Imitation (Mimesis) Theory
According to this understanding, art is the reflection of the objects that the artist perceives in different ways on the works of art. For this reason, this theory is also called projection theory. The first representative of this theory in the history of philosophy is Plato. According to him, the artist imitates objects. Since objects are copies of the ideal world, Plato thinks that art is an imitation of imitation. According to this idea of Plato, we can say that he evaluates art negatively.
Another representative of reflection theory is Aristotle. According to him, art is a reflection, an imitation. Imitation, on the other hand, focuses not only on objects and events that are perceived now, but also on the future and the past. According to Aristotle, tragedies are the highest art among the arts.
According to the theory of creation, the artist is realized by adding emotion, thought and imagination to the material being he perceives. Matter becomes immortal when it becomes a work of art by being spiritualized in this way.
Game theory is the concept that thinks that there is always a similarity between art and play. The reason for this is that the purpose of both activities is seen as the same. Schiller is one of the thinkers who sees art as a game. According to that; “As long as a man plays, he is a full man.”
Aesthetics of philosophers
Since ancient times, many philosophers have assigned and interpreted different meanings to the subject of aesthetics (beauty). The most prominent philosophers and their views are as follows:
- According to Plato, beauty is an idea. Ideas are absolute beings independent of time and space. Plato spontaneously calls such beauty beautiful. The beauty that changes with time and place is relative beauty.
- Aristotle explains beauty more like mathematics. According to him, beauty is based on proportion. Therefore, things that are out of proportion cannot be beautiful.
- According to Hegel, beauty is the manifestation of the absolute mind (spirit) in objects.
- According to Schopenhauer, beauty is the self-exclusion of the absolute will.
- According to N. Hartmann, beauty is the manifestation of spirit in matter.
- In contemporary philosophy, beauty is either explained idealistically, as with Plato and Hegel, or explained mathematically, as with Aristotle.
Art philosophy and social function
Art philosophy is concerned with many issues, including the investigation of the social function of art. The social function of art examines how works of art have an impact on society and how society responds to art. Art philosophy deals with many different aspects of the social function of art.
The social function of art examines how works of art have an impact on society. Art can be used as a social tool and can contribute to social change and transformation. Art can address social problems and offer solutions. For this reason, works of art often address social issues and discuss the impact these issues have on people.
The social function of art is also about how society responds to art. Works of art can reflect society’s cultural values, beliefs and expectations. Works of art can be the subject of discussion in society and evoke different reactions. Art is part of society and how society responds to art helps to understand the social function of art.
Why is philosophy of art important?
Philosophy of Art addresses important questions about the role of art in human life and discusses the meaning and value of art. Art philosophy helps people develop their thinking and understanding of art.
What topics does the philosophy of art deal with?
Art philosophy deals with the nature, definition, value, function, beauty, meaning and the creative process of art. Philosophy of art is also concerned with the social and cultural context of art, interpretation and criticism of works of art, history and aesthetics of art.
What is the difference between art philosophy and art history?
Philosophy of art deals with philosophical issues such as the nature, definition, value and function of art while art history examines the history, development and evolution of art. Philosophy of art discusses the meaning and value of art, while art history deals with the history of works of art, the lives of artists, and the cultural and historical context of art.
What is the difference between art philosophy and aesthetics?
Philosophy of art deals with aesthetic feelings and experiences and deals with issues such as the nature, definition, value and function of art. In exploring the feelings and experiences related to concepts such as aesthetics, beauty and pleasantness, the philosophy of art deals with the value and meaning of art.