ArtLex Art Dictionary




aaesthetics or æsthetics - The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and value of art objects and experiences. It is concerned with identifying the clues within works that can be used to understand, judge, and defend judgments about those works. Originally, any activity connected with art, beauty and taste, becoming more broadly the study of art's function, nature, ontology, purpose, and so on.

A specialist in aesthetics is called an aesthetician.

There are many aesthetic theories, including imitationalism, emotionalism and formalism.

To postmodernists, these interests have largely been supplanted by questions of meaning and linguistically based investigations, such as those involving semiotics. They have used the term to indicate a certain imprecise distinction between art and life, or as a rough synonym for "artistic."



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Also see aesthetic experience, aestheticism, aesthetic value, dance, Fluxus,
gemütlichkeit, grotesque, music, and taste.






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