During the 1970s and 1980s the discourse surrounding aesthetics largely disappeared from the study of art history, theory, and cultural studies. Claims for the aesthetic value of artworks were thought elitist and politically regressive. The 1990s witnessed a return to aesthetics, but one that stressed the independent claims of beauty in reaction to its perceived suppression by ethical and political imperatives. Beauty, however, is just one aspect of the aesthetic. In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the ways in which aesthetics and ethics are intertwined.
Diarmuid Costello is Senior Lecturer in Art Theory at Oxford Brookes University.
Dominic Willsdon is the Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Programs at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Contributors:
Jay M. Bernstein, New School University Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley Noél Carroll, Temple University
Howard Caygill, University of London
Thierry de Duve, University of Lille
W. J. T. Mitchell, University of Chicago
Adrian Piper, Wellesley College
Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds and AHRB CentreCATH
A well-conceived intervention in one of the principal impasses in contemporary theories of the image
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