What is aesthetics? How is it related to other disciplines? The chapters of this book examine the history, theoretical conditions and connection points between aesthetics and other disciplines. At the same time, the authors are also interested in practical clashes of methodology and agenda, especially when it is not merely about the securing of the position of one or the other discipline, but is used, in a dialogical manner, as the form of understanding better the nature of both as well as the benefits of their collaboration. The authors work on the border of aesthetics and at least one other academic field. Through their regular scholarly activities, the contributors constantly benefit from cross- and interdisciplinary practice, and this makes them ideal interpreters of these methodological questions.
Contributors include: Mami Aota, Karl Axelsson, Paul Duncum, Lisa Giombini, Oiva Kuisma, Jacob Lund, Tyrus Miller, Max Ryynänen, Mateusz Salwa, Zoltán Somhegyi, Wendy Steiner, and Joseph Tanke.
Max Ryynänen is senior lecturer in Theory of Visual Culture at Aalto University Finland. He is the former chair of the Finnish Society for Aesthetics and the editor-in-chief of Popular Inquiry: The Journal of the Aesthetics of Kitsch, Camp and Mass Culture and The Journal of Somaesthetics. He is or has been also on the advisory board of e.g. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics, Terra Aesthetica, ESPES, Aesthetica Universalis, The Journal of Global Popular Culture, and Research in Arts and Education. His latest books include e.g. Learning from Decay: Essays on the Aesthetics of Architectural Dereliction and Its Consumption, Aesthetics in Dialogue, On The Philosophy of Central European Art and Art, Excess, Education. He is also editor of Aesthetic Perspectives on Culture, Politics, and Landscape and a contributor of many journals in varieties of aesthetic theory and cultural studies like Ágalma, Contemporary Aesthetics, Journal of Asia-Pacific Popular Culture and Poetics.
Zoltán Somhegyi is an art historian and associate professor of art history at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary. Previously he was based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and was working as chair of the department of fine arts of the College of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Sharjah. He was the secretary general (2016–2022) and still is the website editor of the International Association for Aesthetics (IAA), member of the Executive Committee of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) and consultant of Art Market Budapest: International Contemporary Art Fair. He is advisory and editorial board member of numerous academic journals of aesthetics. His recent books include Reviewing the Past: The Presence of Ruins, Aesthetics in Dialogue: Applying Philosophy of Art in a Global World, Learning from Decay: Essays on the Aesthetics of Architectural Dereliction and Its Consumption and Retracing the Past: Historical Continuity in Aesthetics from a Global Perspective.
Introduction: An Introduction to Aesthetics and Its Companions
Zoltán Somhegyi and Max Ryynänen:
Chapter 1. Aesthetics and Evolutionary Theory
Chapter 2. Aesthetics and Environmental Humanities—The Fieldwork on Ourselves
Chapter 3. Aesthetics and Architecture
Chapter 4. Aesthetics and Urban Studies
Chapter 5. Aesthetics and Politics
Chapter 6. Aesthetics and Philosophy: From Baumgarten to Nietzsche
Chapter 7. Aesthetics and the Classical Tradition: Remarks on Baumgarten and Batteux
Chapter 8. Aesthetics and Cultural Studies: On the Relationship Between a Small Discipline and her Bully Big Brother
Chapter 9. Aesthetics and Art History
Chapter 10. An Exercise in Metamorphosis: Aesthetics of the Curatorial
Chapter 11. Aesthetics and Art Education
Chapter 12. Aesthetics and Musicology
About the Contributors
Aesthetics pervades our lives, and it pervades thinking about our lives. Aesthetic Theory Across the Disciplines surveys the boundaries of philosophical aesthetics, its points of contact with the arts disciplines, such disciplines as cultural studies and urban studies, and also the history of philosophy. Some essays provide sweeping visions of the potential benefits of more dialogue. Other essays diagnose obstacles to dialogue. They are by turns personal, passionate, and persuasive.
Max Ryynänen and Zoltán Somhegyi have assembled an international team of scholars who consider the ways that aesthetics operates in a variety of related disciplines. Their scope is wide, including such fields as philosophy, architecture, music, cultural studies, human evolution, and ecology. The comprehensive literature reviews and diverse individual perspectives in Aesthetic Theory Across the Disciplines offer informative and valuable insights.