Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art?

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9780415422819: Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art?
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"Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art?" is a much-needed philosophical inquiry into these questions and more. Peter Goldie and Elisabeth Schellekens first address, and try to clear up, much of the puzzlement, frustration, irritation and resentment felt about conceptual art. Secondly, they use conceptual art to bring to life and to reformulate some of the main issues and theories in contemporary philosophical aesthetics. These problems include the way conceptual art challenges definitions of art; why it displaces epistemological and cognitive approaches to art, making it hard to say what we can know about art, if anything; and why it raises such thorny problems about artistic appreciation and interpretation.The book includes several illustrations of the work of celebrated conceptual artists to bring these issues and theories to life: Sol le Witt, Joseph Beuys, Joseph Kosuth, Bruce Nauman Gilbert and George, Michael Craig Martin, and Jeremy Deller. "Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art?" is essential reading for students of philosophy, art and visual studies and anyone intrigued but perplexed by art in general.

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Review:

'... this book is successful; thoughtful, informative, and provocative, it can be recommended to artists, art critics, art historians and other members of the artworld in addition to philosophers and aestheticians. Supplemented by material appropriate to the level, it would work well in either an introductory or an advanced course in philosophy of art.' - Philosophy in Review

'Who's Afraid of Conceptual Art? is a philosophically substantive guide through the controversies and values of conceptual art executed with wit and intellectual verve. Accessible to all, it is a must read for anyone interested in the nature and significance of conceptual art.' – Matthew Kieran, University of Leeds, UK

'Conceptual art has perplexed and provoked philosophers and art lovers for decades. Armed with perfectly chosen examples, clear and engaging arguments, and a genuine sympathy for their subject, Goldie and Schellekens explain why we are right to be perplexed and then show us how to appreciate the ingenuity and sheer craftiness of some of the most infamous and yet captivating specimens of recent art.' – Dominic McIver Lopes, University of British Columbia, Canada

'This very lively and stimulating book is the perfect cure for those who suffer from an uneasiness, or even a phobia, concerning conceptual art. Goldie and Schellekens do a wonderful job in making the philosophical issues accessible to readers lacking a specialized background. The treatment of conceptual art is well-informed, sympathetic yet critical, and liberally illustrated with engaging discussion of challenging examples.' - David Davies, McGill University, Canada

About the Author:

Peter Goldie is Samuel Hall Chair in Philosophy at The University of Manchester; and has held posts at King’s College London and Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of The Emotions: A Philosophical Exploration (2000) and On Personality (2004).

Elisabeth Schellekens is Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Durham University. With Peter Goldie she was a joint researcher in an AHRC Innovation Award project on philosophy and conceptual art. She is editor (with Peter Goldie) of Philosophy and Conceptual Art (2007) and author of Aesthetics and Morality (2007).

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