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Philosophies of Art and Beauty

Introducing Aesthetics

Hugh Bredin, Liberato Santoro-Brienza

Paperback (Printed to Order)

Philosophies of Art and Beauty is a thorough historical survey of philosophies of the arts. It provides descriptive analyses of the most significant and influential art forms which help to define European culture, past and present: literature, drama, music, architecture, sculpture and painting. They are considered in relation to theories of art, aesthetic theories and poetics, which have emerged from the human need to reflect upon the arts in order to discover their nature, value and social and cultural roles. Philosophies of Art and Beauty offers a history of European philosophical systems and aesthetic and poetic theories together with explanatory descriptions of the major Western arts, both in their current forms and as they have developed from their beginnings to the present.

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About the Author

Hugh Bredin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Scholastic Philosophy at Queen's University, Belfast


The cultural climate of the book is richer and more diverse than that of most introductory books on aesthetics, and thereby has a better chance of making the subject come alive for the reader ... the chapter on literature is lucid, well argued and interesting. The authors do not overplay their historical cards, and pursue with impressive efficiency their conclusions on literary truth, value, and realism.
This is an interesting and useful book in a somewhat neglected area of philosophy ... It will be of most use to those who already have an interest in aesthetics and who want to find out more about the history of the subject. Such a purpose it serves well
This is a book of great verve and great sweep. The authors write with a cogency and clarity which puts paid to any notion that their subject is too specialized: they ask and answer the big, simple questions. Any reader interested in art will be hooked immediately. I found their work enlivening and authoritative.
- Seamus Heaney