Art and Pleasure

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Why do we find art pleasurable according to Aristotle, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Freud? Explain each position fully. Which position do you agree with most, and why? Why do you find the other positions inadequate? What relation does each thinker believe art has an ultimate reality and what relation might this have to their view of art’s pleasure giving nature.

In the readings Aristotle finds art whether it be Music, Dance, Painting or Sculpture representational. He asserts that art is pleasurable because of its characteristics. “It’s purpose is to bring about a catharsis, a purging of the emotions, through the experience of fear and pity.”-Aristotle (pg.27) I feel that Aristotle’s position of art is true from my point of view. I think that there are a lot of artists, including myself that use a representational standpoint. Playing on emotions to create. I think that everyone can relate to his works for everyone at one point in time has felt drama or tragedy.

From what I understood about Kant is that he broke down pleasure in art like a puzzle, but put them into groups. One of them is specific interest. Another is form as an object. The third being “Genius as the faculty of artistic creation”. -Kant (pg.49) He states that when we look at a beautiful object we use our imagination and we get an understanding and we receive a “certain kind of harmony”. In which all humans can experience. “Art objects are those created to produce aesthetic pleasure by virtue of their form.”-Kant (pg. 50)

Schopenhauer’s view of art is gloomy as opposed too pleasurable. He sees artist as tragic characters forced to tell the truth about humanity, yet doomed to fail. He reveals that truths contemplation of will is that reality is a mere illusion, and that all humanity is pointless, and that we are pawns in this never-ending game called life. Yet he feels that

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