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 different theories of art and beauty, tackling issues such as who owns art and what happens when art and morality collide. From Plato on poetry to Ringo Starr on the drums, this is a perfect introductory text for anyone interested in the fascinating questions art can raise.
Charles Taliaferro is Professor of Philosophy at St. Olaf College, Minnesota, USA. He is the author or editor of numerous books on the philosophy of religion including as co-editor of The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Religion.
“The best book on aesthetics of its kind. Engaging, comprehensive in scope, and rich with examples.”
– David Vessey – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Grand Valley State University, US
“Beginners who read this excellent introduction will encounter a wide range of sources, dealing with the major questions in aesthetics and illustrated by many and varied artistic examples.”
– Gary Iseminger – Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Carleton College, USA, and author of The Aesthetic Function of Art
“Accessible and assured. This brief account of a vast subject is entirely successful.”
– Professor Daniel N. Robinson – University of Oxford
'Providing a balanced view of many controversial concepts and traditions – from Plato to Mozart to Tolkien – Taliaferro gives a sound tour of the essential questions… Highly recommended as an introduction guide.'