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Branch of philosophy that studies the nature of art

Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that explores the nature of art, beauty and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. In its more technical epistemological perspective, it is defined as the study of subjective and sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. Aesthetics studies how artists imagine, create and perform works of art; how people use, enjoy and criticize art, and what happens in their minds when they look at paintings, listen to music or read poetry, and understand what they see and hear. It also studies how they feel about art—why they like some works and not others, and how art can affect their moods, beliefs and attitude toward life.


FAQ: What does Objectivism Consider to be Art (Aesthetics), by William Thomas, 15 Mar 2002
Many conventional accounts of aesthetics confuse decoration with art because they center aesthetics on the question of 'what is beauty?' ... because one's idea of beauty is inevitably informed and affected by one's sense of values, it is an issue that, like art in general, depends for its explanation on man's dependence on philosophical principles.
The Libertarians' Albatross, by Butler Shaffer, 3 Nov 2004
Recounts Shaffer's introduction to objectivism and provides critical analysis of the philosophy's shortcomings, highlighting Objectivists support of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and the "war on terror" and disregard of innocent casualties
Rand's attempt to extend her sense of "objective" values into the realm of aesthetics became a give-away to the fallacy upon which her philosophy was built. What she extolled as "objective" artistic taste came down to nothing more than the kinds of music, paintings, literature, sculptures, and architecture, that appealed to her eyes and ears. She apparently even elevated a popular dance step to the realm of objective correctness. That she could delude herself into believing that her subjective preferences equated with objective truth should have been a red flag to her ardent followers ...
The Market Is a Beautiful Thing, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Jul 2013
Explores whether most people's aversion to the market is aesthetic and explains the beauty in the dynamics of the (freed) market, with quotes from Bastiat and Adam Smith
During the Q&A a woman asked, in all sincerity, why society couldn't do without money, since so many bad things are associated with it ... I don't know whether my response prompted her to rethink her objections to the market, but I am confident her objection was aesthetic. For her, money and competition are ugly ... Like that nice woman, many decent people dislike markets because they find them unattractive. And they associate markets with other things they find unattractive besides money and competition: (rugged, atomistic) individualism, selfishness, and profit ... The objections must be met on an aesthetic level.


Faculty Spotlight Interview: Walter Block: Walter Block, by Walter Block, 18 Jan 2010
Asks Block about his hobbies, greatest inspiration, the impact of his work and more
What drives you to do what you do?
... The most important reason I promote liberty through writing and speaking is the sheer beauty of it. Much as I appreciate the smile of a baby, a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, the music of Mozart, the love of my family, the magnificence of top handball players, the brilliance of chess grandmasters, the sheer exquisiteness, gorgeousness of the idea of human freedom and liberty, and of how the free enterprise system is one vast means of human cooperation, means even more to me ... It is a beautiful philosophy, and it attracts my aesthetic sense like nothing else in my life.


The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature
    by Ayn Rand, 1969
Partial contents: The Psycho-Epistemology of Art - Philosophy and Sense of Life - Art and Sense of Life - Art and Cognition - Basic Principles of Literature - What is Romanticism? - The Esthetic Vacuum of Our Age - Bootleg Romanticism

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aesthetics" as of 23 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.