Art and the feelings and emotions

Matravers, Derek (1991). Art and the feelings and emotions. British Journal of Aesthetics, 31(4) pp. 322–331.



Many of the judgements we make of particular works of art employ the vocabulary of feelings or emotions. Typically, the critic uses terms such as 'sad', 'joyful', 'optimistic', 'gloomy', 'angry', 'lusty', 'exuberant' and so forth to describe aspects of works of art. Such descriptions generate one of the most intractable problems in aesthetics: that of specifying the relation between art and the feelings and emotions thus ascribed to them.

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