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Aesthetics: A Beginner's Guide

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  8 reviews
What is art? Why do we find some things beautiful but not others? Is it wrong to share mp3s? These are just some of the questions explored by aesthetics, the philosophy of art. In this sweeping introduction, Charles Taliaferro skilfully guides us through notions of art and beauty around the world, tackling lively debates such as who owns art and how art and morality collid ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Oneworld Publications
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Glenn Russell
This beginner’s guide on Aesthetics by Charles Taliaferro is not only for beginners but also for all artists, writers, musician and students of philosophy interested in art and aesthetics. Why? Because the wealth of ideas, theories, examples and questions presented could keep anybody going, irrespective of their background and experience, for years and years (I say this having dedicated 40+ years to the arts, literature and the study of philosophy). Indeed, I would go further – I’ve read a numbe ...more
John Martindale
Listening to this recorded book felt kind of like tuning into a philosophical discussion/debate. A positive idea presented, then there of course are problems with that view, but the perspectives that then replace the discarded theories, end up being full of holes themselves. One doesn't come away from a book like this feeling much the wiser, it actually muddies the water, well, it doesn't muddy the water, but just reveals how murky it already was and how there are no clear answers to be found. M ...more
This book is useful; I think it meets expectations for a "beginners guide." The reading level does not intimidate interested readers. Taliaferro regularly touches on topics with insight. Even if the topics and insights are underdeveloped, the interested reader can find his / her own way to elaboration elsewhere. In my opinion, this is a good book for college-age students who do not have access to the philosophy of aesthetics in their program of study.
I knew early on that this was a book that I wasn't going to enjoy; the author's obsession with Platonic aesthetics overwhelms from the first pages. I had hoped a "Beginner's Guide" would introduce me to aesthetic philosophies with which I was not previously familiar, but the author here chose instead to pursue in depth one that has been beaten like a dead horse, at this point.

I will be fair: if you you truly are a beginner to understanding aesthetics and have no understanding whatsoever of the
Tan Jing Ling
About as clear and concise an introductory book can get. The last chapter is commendable in weaving in chinese and Japanese aesthetics.
Heavy going - needs repeated reading for it to sink it. Now I know why contemporary artists have such a twisted view of how good their art work is.
Talbot Hook
Aesthetic Animism.
Commander Law
Yes very much an introduction, whets your appetite.
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