Craft Objects, Aesthetic Contexts: Kant, Heidegger, and Adorno on Craft

  • Binding: Paperback

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Craft Objects, Aesthetic Contexts examines the place of contemporary craft in traditional aesthetics. Though philosophers have usually either ignored craft or denigrated it as mechanical and unimaginative, a careful examination of their comments often indicates that they nevertheless took a lively interest in several important issues facing craft artists today. Although Kant is famous for emphasizing that aesthetic judgments must be pure and therefore concern themselves with objects that have no useful purpose, he took this position simply to clarify his argument, and in fact many of his examples involve objects we would today consider craft, such as furniture and even decorative wallpaper.
Similarly, Heidegger and Adorno have been valued largely for their interest in complex and influential art objects, but their comments on art also frequently address issues central to craft, especially the significance of history, functionality, techniques, and materials. This book examines these comments in order to begin a process of appreciating how philosophical aesthetics, as practiced by these important writers, can contribute to our analysis of contemporary craft.

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