By Richard Wollheim
Richard Wollheim's vintage mirrored image on paintings considers critical questions concerning expression, illustration, sort, the importance of the artist's goal and the primarily ancient nature of artwork. offered in a clean sequence livery for the twenty-first century, with a in particular commissioned preface written through Richard Eldridge, illuminating its carrying on with significance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, artwork and its items is still a perceptive and interesting advent to the questions and philosophical concerns raised by way of artworks and the half they play in our tradition and society. Wollheim's insights into theories of paintings, feedback, belief and the character of aesthetic worth make this probably the most influential works on aesthetics of the 20th century.
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Additional info for Art and its Objects
For it would be hard to deny that these properties pertain to works of visual art: even if quite exaggerated claims have sometimes been made on their behalf. At the same time it would not be easy to ﬁt these properties into the dichotomy of given or inferred, which the theory demands: though, again, the attempt has certainly been made. Their connexion with representation makes it art and its objects 35 appropriate to discuss them here. The properties I refer to are best introduced by means of that highly versatile phrase, ‘tactile values’.
So, for instance, the claim that certain music is sad because of what the composer felt is sometimes equated – by its proponents as well as by its critics – with the claim that at the time the composer was suffering from a bout of gloom. Or, again, to say that a certain statue is terrifying because of the emotions it arouses in the spectators is sometimes interpreted as meaning that someone who looks at it will take fright. In other words, to establish that the composer was not on the verge of tears or that the average spectator exhibits no 20 art and its objects desire to run away, is thought to be enough to refute this whole conception of expression.
I have argued that we do wrong to pick on either the representation itself or the thing represented as providing us with the sure criterion of what properties we directly perceive. But this has not led us to postulate as that criterion some mental image or picture, which is then called the direct object of perception: as traditional theory generally does. If there is such a thing as a criterion of what we directly perceive, it rather looks as though it is to be found in what we would naturally say in response to an outer picture.
Art and its Objects by Richard Wollheim