Questions in Aesthetics


•  What makes something a work of art? What kinds of things would you say could never be an artwork? What characteristics must it have for you to consider it art?

•  Why think about art? Why not just experience it?

•  Why do people make art? Why does art matter?

•  Are art and beauty essentially related? Does art have to be beautiful? What are the definitions of beautiful and ugly?

•  Why aren't natural objects works of art? Or are they?

•  What makes an artwork good? Why will people sometimes agree about what is good art or what is not good art? Why do we call some works of art masterpieces?

•  Do standards for good art stay the same in all cultures or groups?

•  Does art mean the same thing in every culture? In every group? Can we understand the meanings of artworks made in cultures other than our own?

•  Who determines the meaning of an artwork, the artist or the viewer?

•  What does it mean to evaluate or judge an artwork? Are some people's judgements more important than others?

•  Where do people obtain their beliefs about art?



















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