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.

Articles

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."

Books

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.