In this book Richard Eldridge presents a clear and compact survey of philosophical theories of the nature and significance of art. Drawing on materials from classical and contemporary philosophy as well as from literary theory and art criticism, he explores the representational, expressive, and formal dimensions of art, and he argues that works of art present their subject matter in ways that are of enduring cognitive, moral, and social interest. His discussion, illustrated with a wealth of examples, ranges over topics such as beauty, originality, imagination, imitation, the ways in which we respond emotionally to art, and why we argue about which works are good. His accessible study will be invaluable to students and to all readers who are interested in the relation between thought and art.

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