What Are Aesthetics? Essay

1429 Words 6 Pages
When questioning something as controversial as the possibility of a standard of aesthetic judgment, one must take into account the many different perspectives that already exist on the matter. For centuries now, some of the greatest philosophers such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant have attempted to answer this timeless question. However, understandings and interpretations of art are constantly evolving. This has made a clear concise answer difficult to find. Throughout this essay, I will discuss previous opinions and beliefs on the matter, primarily focusing on the ides of philosopher David Hume, then touching on Noel Carroll’s critique of Hume’s philosophy, and then go into further detail of my own analysis of the question. One of the …show more content…
Farther into Hume’s theory of aesthetics, he debates that there are two stages of aesthetic judgment: the first stage being the perception of colour and shapes, and the second stage being the feelings of approbation/ disapprobation. I find Hume’s theory to be flawed in this analysis because his initial claim was that the feelings of approbation and disapprobation were a causal reaction. If this were the case, then the feelings of approbation and disapprobation would have been presented to be stage one, rather than in stage two. I disagree with these two stages that Hume proposes because, for instance, when first looking at a painting, I would argue that one first sees the subject and feels this moment of approbation, rather than first seeing the structural elements of the painting such as shapes and colours. For example, if you were to give a child a painting, and ask them about it, they would talk first about the subject of the painting and the scene, whether or not they enjoyed the painting (approbation/ disapprobation), and then, most likely only when prompted, they would mention the different colours and shapes that they saw. This is one reason that my opinion deviates from that of Hume’s. I believe that there is a natural human tendency to judge artwork by subjective means, not by a standard of complex principles in which only a select few can really grasp. Scholar Noel Carroll wrote an article in 1984 entitled ‘Hume’s

Related Documents