What is Art in terms of Philosophy, Philosophical Perspective on ArtJune 29, 2021
Art; means all of the methods used in the expression of an emotion, design, beauty, etc., or the superior creativity that emerges as a result of this expression.
Art is also a large area of social activity that includes many departments, movements, different professions, museums, exhibition and show halls and many similar areas. Many branches of art such as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, literature, theatre, cinema, photography are studied in terms of philosophy as well as by various sciences.
In order to better understand the importance and value of art in terms of philosophy, and the place of art in philosophy, it is necessary to look briefly at how thinkers evaluate the activity of art. In this context, different philosophers have put forward various views on the origin and source of art. We can list these views under the following headings:
1. Art as Imitation (Mimesis)
– The first ideas that art consists of imitation are Aristotle’s. Aristotle emphasized that people imitate the essence of “things” by using their imitation abilities and thus become artists.
– Almost everyone who is slightly interested in philosophy will know Plato’s world of ideas. Here, Plato states that the world of ideas is the reality itself and everything we can feel in the world we live in is an imitation of this world of ideas.
– According to the German philosopher Alexandre Baumgarten, who enabled aesthetics to exist as an independent field of science, matter and spirit are so harmoniously combined and fused in the universe that the only purpose of art and artist should be to imitate nature.
2. Art as Creation
– According to Hegel, art is the soul of the artist who is inserted into matter and makes matter resemble himself. While this creative spirit is very dependent on matter in sculpture and architecture, it completely dominates matter in painting; in literature and music, it is in a state free of matter.
– According to George Santayana and John Dewey, artistic creation occurs as a result of the interaction of a person with his/her environment. A personality, imagination and knowledge in the artist; There are various shapes, events, sounds, materials in the environment. Therefore, the environment nourishes the artist, and the artist changes the environment.
3. Art as a Game
According to some philosophers, the source of art is entertainment and games. After meeting their essential needs, people engage in some pleasurable game activities aimlessly. These activities both relax the body and give pleasure. The next name for such activities is to embellish oneself and to make one’s immediate surroundings pleasing and admirable. Here, too, art emerges, of course the result of a game, as a game…
– According to Charles Bordele, art emerged as described above. Just as science emerged from experimentation with the mind, so the arts were born from imagination and play.
– E. Groesse also states that art is an activity whose purpose is self-directed, and is like a game that attracts and uses all human power. In that case, rather than being the source of art, play resembles artistic activity as a free behavior that people do with pleasure.
– Schiller, on the other hand, rather than saying “the source of art is the game”, tells that the real aesthetic world is the game world, that people are only real people in the game, that it is possible to act freely and try to realize their imagination, and that this activity is close to art.
– Croce means “Art is an activity of that kind, if not a game”; because the essence and purpose of art is quite different from the game. Art does not just imitate; changes and creates. Behind this transformativeness and creativity is that much appreciated artist freedom.
Game theory is appropriate if it is evaluated for activities in the related fields of fine arts rather theater and performing arts. While some consider the sense of play and pleasure to be the source of art, others put them as a goal.
Compiled and Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Sociology Department Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); prof. Dr. Ahmet Arslan – Introduction to Philosophy; prof. Dr. Mustafa Ergün – Introduction to Philosophy Book