Seeking the Pattern of Aesthetic Value in a Work of Art

Jan Klimeš

Abstract


The method and criteria that are used for detecting the aesthetic value in works of art are among the key themes of aesthetic epistemology. The object of this study is to attempt a rational reconstruction of the background of art criticism. In tradition Western thought, aesthetic value lies in archieving unity in complexity, unitas multiplex. In the 20th century, this duality was enriched by a third category, intensity. In 1989, Tomáš Kulka suggested that these three categorical features could be detected within works of art by applying a falsification proving method to the aesthetic value. Kulka described an intuitive process of assessing the aesthetic value of works of art by finding possible alternations that would contribute to improving and/or damaging the work of art. The number of possibilities thus found may lead us to recognize the aesthetic value of the work of art. This paper addresses Kulka's concept, emphasizing some of its potential problematic aspects and concluding with a suggested percentage modification of Kulka's concept that might better correspond with an practical background in assessing the aesthetic value of works of art.


Keywords


Aesthetic value; aesthetic assessment; alteration; art criticism; complexity; epistemology; falsification; Gestalt; intensity; unitas multiplex; unity; work of art

https://doi.org/10.5817/pf13-1-286

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Published by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
ISSN: 1212-9097