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Aesthetic Creation$
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Nick Zangwill

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261871

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261871.001.0001

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Against the Sociology of Art

Against the Sociology of Art

(p.167) 7 Against the Sociology of Art
Aesthetic Creation

Nick Zangwill (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter returns to the theme of rational explanation. It argues against non-rational sociological explanations in favour of aesthetic rational explanations. Sociologists of art illegitimately slide from giving sociological explanations of some aspects of art-production to thinking that they can offer a complete explanation of art-production in which the aesthetic has no place. But aesthetic and sociological factors might both be significant. Moreover, it is plausible that non-aesthetic explanations are only possible because there are aesthetic factors in play. The chapter ends by filling out what aesthetic explanations of art-production and consumption would look like. It appeals to the pleasure that people derive from art-making and consuming. Since it is rational and understandable that people pursue pleasure, aesthetic explanations are rational explanations.

Keywords:   rational explanation, non-rational sociological explanations, art-production, pleasure, art-making, sociology of art

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