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What good are the arts?

John Carey
"In What Good are the Arts? John Carey - one of Britain's most respected literary critics - offers a delightfully skeptical look at the nature of art. In particular, he cuts through the cant surrounding the fine arts, debunking claims that the arts make us better people or that judgements about art are anything more than personal opinion. Indeed, Carey argues that there are no absolute values in the arts and that we cannot call other people's aesthetic choices "mistaken" or "incorrect," however much we dislike them. Along the way, Carey reveals the flaws in the aesthetic theories of everyone from Emanuel Kant to Arthur C. Danto, and he skewers the claims of "high-art advocates" such as Jeannette Winterson
Print Book, English, 2006
paperpback ed View all formats and editions
Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006
xii, 286 pages
9780195305548, 9780571226030, 019530554X, 0571226035
Acknowledgements ; Introduction ; Part One ; 1. What is a work of art? ; 2. Is "high" art superior? ; 3. Can science help? ; 4. Do the arts make us better? ; 5. Can art be a religion? ; Part Two ; 6. Literature and Critical Intelligence ; 7. Creative reading: Literature and indistinctness ; Afterword ; Bibliography/Notes/Index