Defining art aesthetically : a revision of Iseminger's new aestheticism

  • Yeung, Peter YU

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


My thesis attempts to provide an aesthetic definition of art.

The thesis is divided into three parts. The first part is a summary of the different attempts in defining art in contemporary analytic philosophy, beginning with a discussion of Morris Weitz’s famous paper “The Role of Theory in Aesthetics”, in which he appealed to Wittgenstein’s “family resemblance” idea while rejecting traditional essential definitions. His attempt has led to the appearance of contemporary essential definitions, whereby art is defined through different relational properties. This is followed by a critically review on Weitz’s claims and those definitions.

The second part focuses on Iseminger’s new aestheticism. I found that the notion of appreciation employed by Iseminger was somehow problematic, and proposed neo- Lewisian notion of value-apprehension as a replacement, with a critical discussion of whether such replacement is possible. In the last part of the thesis, I considered and defended my proposal against possible objections.
Date of Award27 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lingnan University
SupervisorAndrea SAUCHELLI (Supervisor)

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