Philosopher and their criticisms for Aesthetics

The class of philosophers have bitterly criticized the domain of aesthetics By leveling classical negative loopholes of this particular subject matter, which could be efficiently categorized in three ways, and they are as follows:
The necessity or utility of this domain
The possibility of aesthetics
The relevant availability of literature for this domain.
The very discourse on the subject has been the controversy’s favorite child. And it has not been well received by a plethora of philosophers, ranging from the British empiricists.

Main Body:
The primary criticism that there was no necessity of having an independent domain such as of beauty and aesthetics simply because of the fact that if there was no need felt until now, there is no need felt for future as well for the possibility of having any such subject in existence. There are British philosophers who have remarked that beauty and aesthetic subject is nothing but equated with the German romanticism movement Wherein these movements have only Resulted in sowing seeds of anarchy in the world of philosophy. As has been exclaimed by Shyamla that:

“The philosophers are hesitant or even reluctant to welcome this newborn baby, only on the grounds that its necessity was not fulfilled by the earlier philosophers’ ‘.

Additionally, it can also be said that beauty and aesthetic subjects have not provided any sensible or clear-cut information or detailed account of the traditional problems that have been faced and encountered by the philosopher since ages. Rather, they have added more confusion and chaos within the system.

“Some philosophers have even compared aesthetics with ethics and observed that reflective thinking on the issues of morality, help in improving the standards of morality.”

We see in our previous articles as I have mentioned the stages of development of morality, earlier, which was the idea that the virtues and deeds which are considered to be as ethical and moral are only those actions that are resulting in the satisfaction of the instinctual as well as the sensational needs of the particular rational agent performing those actions Then people started clinging on to the concept of traditional customs and religious Scriptures in order to determine what is right and what is ethically moral action. What are they just behavior and what is an unjust behavior in the eyes of tradition and that was considered to be the ultimate final call in the case of morality. Then we saw how individualistic notions, the importance of rationality as well as the relevance of reasoning and critical analysis was given so much weightage and importance that it led to the birth of yet another form of morality, which was intrinsic, deep and rational. The transformation of morality from one stage to another is a clear testament of the different development and evolution in the existence of this moral concept, which has proved to be beneficial and advantages for societies and the cosmological work culture.

But if you will try to find similar trends of development or evolution, in the case of beauty, aesthetic, subject, a person would Be nothing other than clearly Disappointed as there has not been any such development or refinement of the thought that it has been In the case of subject of critical thinking or ethics. And because of this, the philosophical enquiry in this subject has not received a favorable reaction in the minds of various philosophers as has been explained by Gupta in “Art Beauty and Creativity” book.
There are several other philosophers Who have criticized and have questioned the legitimacy of declaring beauty and aesthetic subjects as the subject of standard, scientific, philosophical discussion and discourse. This criticism could be further divided as per the logical positivists criticism on one hand and the loopholes that have been highlighted by the analytical tradition of philosophy.

The positivists Are those who have believed that the theoretical philosophical expositions are nothing but nonsensical, and since beauty and aesthetic subject is also healing from the same tradition, it is deemed to be devoid of any meaningful value. Furthermore, there is not even an inch of objectivity and this subject is purely based on what is art, what is creativity and what is beauty. All of these things are having prep standards and these prepositions are nothing but value judgements. These value judgements are not fit to be categorized as any sort of a proposition adding to this, all of these statements are considered nothing but valueless and meaningless, by Prof. Ayer. All of these deliberations point towards the fact that the subject must be discarded altogether.

The relative less availability of quality of literature, which is necessarily put for beauty and aesthetic subject Is abhorrently low. Harold Osborne observes:

“What aesthetics is about what is its subject matter, and what are its terms of reference have themselves become a subject of aesthetic debate”.

Then we have Sparshott who exclaims: “Among these men complain as general, so much has been written, so little is worth reading, and it is so hard to find out what is supposed to be going on… In aesthetics, There is no agreement as to what the problems are, and how they are related to each other. What should be studied and more importantly, what may safely be left unread” He has further highlighted his contentment with the status and nature of this aesthetic, subject by pointing out in his writing about the lack of critical standards and believed that the subject does not deserve any exceptionally, separate and idealistic aloof space in the academic discourse to be researched or studied upon.

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Yuri Borev; Aesthetics; Natalia Belskaya…Yuvgeri Philippov; Progress Publishers, 1985.
Art, Beauty and creativity: Indian and western aesthetics; Shyamala Gupta; 2021.

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B.A Philosophy (Hons.) from Hansraj College, University of Delhi


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