Aug 25, 2012

What qualifies Art?

Hello there!
Let's begin this new season of discussing philosophy online by starting with Aesthetics. This is part of getting-used-to training before the first round of the Indian Philosophy Olympiad is conducted (around November-End-December). These sessions will be largely blog assignments put up every saturday and feedback by the next saturday. I am trying to get the online lectures to work out for a larger audience (we could manage for a few people using Google / Yahoo or Tinychat last summer) and will inform you all asap.

So here goes:
What can be described as the qualities Art (read: a work of art) must possess to be described as art?
  1. Beauty: How would you define it? Is it subjective? (i.e. lies in the eyes of the beholder)
  2. Rationality: Should art confirm to logic? Can a artist not be wildly imaginitive? Should the work of art present its reasons to exist within it?
  3. Truth: Should art confirm to reality? Can it not distort reality?
  4. Heroism: Should art only describe the best and the most honorable in society? (many a times an artist shows a hero in contrast with a villain, this is allowed by the question) Can art not be about the bland, pallid, passive, commoner aspects of life?
  5. Purpose: Should art have a purpose? Can it not be vague and apparently "meaningless"?
State your point of view to these as comments in as brief manner as possible. Later we examine more qualities, ultimately to try and determine those qualities which help us judge Art.