José Juan González
University of Salamanca
It is a common statement in the most traditional views of the history of the philosophy of art to consider the nineteenth century as the moment of birth of the expressionist theory of art, a theory that ended pushing aside the already declining imitation theory of art. It is also usually understood that the expressionist theory defended that the essence of art was to express emotion, that the artist aim was to translate somehow emotions into artworks, and that these emotions ended in some way reaching the audience or the public of the work of art that was contemplated, listened to, or read... This explanation of art received a further development during the first half of the twentieth century by R. G. Collingwood among others, but was soon replaced by other theories that moved in a wider scope. Nevertheless Collingwood's approach to art continues being a reference for the reflection of many contemporary philosophers, although the general sense of their approach to his philosophy of art is mainly negative: it is more worried about criticizing Collingwood's view than about understanding it. The aim of this exposition is not to defend Collingwood's explanation of art, but to show many important errors of interpretation that have become a common place in the objections that are made against his proposal. To accomplish it, I pretend to take a close look to the criticisms to his theory made by one of the most important exponents of the aesthetics of the analytical tradition, George Dickie. I have chosen him because he both summarizes and has contributed to extend quite well the general tone of the objections against Collingwood's account of art. These mainly focus on the understanding of art as imagination, on the definition of art as expression of emotion, and on the relation between these two approaches to art. By dismantling them, I hope to give some clues to help in a better understanding of these concepts in Collingwood's philosophy of art, not only because of the historical value that this might have, but because of the light that Collingwood's approach to art can throw upon contemporary reflections on the relation between art, emotion and value.
Keywords R. G. Collingwood  G. Dickie  Aesthetics
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References found in this work BETA

The Principles of Art.R. G. Collingwood - 1938 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Principles of Art.R. G. Collingwood - 1938 - Philosophy 13 (52):492-496.
The Later Philosophy of R. G. Collingwood.Alan Donagan - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.

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