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Ideas of Sebastian Gardner, by Text

[British, fl. 2000, Professor at University College, London University.]

1995 Aesthetics
Intro p.585 Aesthetics presupposes a distinctive sort of experience, and a unified essence for art
     Full Idea: Aesthetics traditionally has two presuppositions: the first is that there is a distinctive form of experience which is common to the appreciation of art and natural beauty; the second is that art has an essence or some sort of underlying unity.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], Intro)
     A reaction: Both must come up for discussion. I think the biggest problem for the first one is the place of sexual attraction, or even fancying a prawn sandwich. The second has been weakened by Marcel Duchamp's urinal, and modern fringe arts.
1.1 p.587 Aesthetic judgements necessarily require first-hand experience, unlike moral judgements
     Full Idea: I am not within my rights to declare an object beautiful until I have seen it myself, ..unlike moral judgement, which (arguably) does not presuppose either a felt response or personal acquaintance.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], 1.1)
     A reaction: Particularists might argue that moral judgements also require exposure to the actual situation, if they are to be authentic and authoritative. We can also discuss principles of aesthetics in the absence of examples.
1.2.3 p.591 Aesthetic objectivists must explain pleasure being essential, but not in the object
     Full Idea: The aesthetic objectivist faces the difficulty of accounting for the fact that pleasure is not in the object, and is necessary for, and not just a contingent accompaniment to, aesthetic response.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], 1.2.3)
     A reaction: The objectivist has to claim, not utterly implausibly, that if you don't get pleasure from certain works, then you 'ought' to. You can ignore a good work, but to deny that it gives pleasure is a failing in you.
2.2 p.602 Art works originate in the artist's mind, and appreciation is re-creating this mental object
     Full Idea: A strong tradition in aesthetics (the 'idealist' view) regards works of art as existing originally in the artist's mind, and the appreciation of art as a matter of re-creating the artist's mental object.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], 2.2)
     A reaction: He mentions Collingwood and Croce. Against this is the view (Idea 7268) that what goes on in the artist's mind is just irrelevant. Freud is important here, suggesting that the artist doesn't quite know what he or she is doing.