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Title: Expression out of expressive physiognomy : physiognomic perception, aesthetic attribution, and art
Author: Robinson, Susan Rebecca
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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This thesis accepts the assumption underlying most theories of expression in art and music in recent decades, that the problem of expression in art is one most adequately handled as a problem of expressive attribution. However, the thesis rejects another assumption these same theories make, that the problem of accounting for descriptions of the form 'the music is sad' forms an isolated study. Instead, the thesis tackles the problem of accounting for expressive qualities attributed to art as part of a wider problem of aesthetic attribution. Chapters One and Two use Fank Sibley's classic distinction between aesthetic and nonaesthetic concepts as the departure point for a wider discussion of aesthetic attribution. Chapter One gives Sibley's discussion an unusually sympathetic reading, defending Sibley against an argument Roger Scruton raises against Sibley's view in the early part of Art and Imagination. Having made the most sympathetic case possible for Sibley's theory, Chapters Two through Five launch into a wider enquiry into the nature of aesthetic perception and aesthetic judgement. In Chapter Two, a final concession is made to Sibley's views when it is suggested that aesthetic judgements employing Sibley's taste concepts constitute strongly perceptual judgements: judgements formed in the course of perception as opposed to judgements reflecting upon the data of perception. Chapter Three continues the enquiry into the nature of aesthetic perception by examining the view expressed sometimes in the writings of Virgil C. Aldrich, that aesthetic awareness amounts to the operation of a distinctive mode of perception, one excluding a physical object awareness of things. The evidence Aldrich provides for his view is examined, and Aldrich's account of representational perception is compared and contrasted with Richard Wollheim's better-known view.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available