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Aesthetics in Archaeology

  • Thomas HeydEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_1622-2
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Introduction and Definition

The term “aesthetics” was coined in the eighteenth century by Alexander Baumgarten, who thought of it as “the science of sensible cognition” (Baumgarten 1961 [1750–1758]: §1, 107). As such, it concerns the study of how to think the sensible appearance (the look/sound/feel) of things when the focus is on their perceptual qualities. Immanuel Kant further added to this conception by proposing that aesthetic judgment involves a claim not based on an (objective) coming to know of the world but on a particular (subjective) feeling produced in the encounter with objects of perception. The feeling in question is produced when the faculties of imagination and understanding are in “free play” while provoked by various objects of perception (Kant 1790365体育网站 trans. 1987: Pt. 1, Book 1, Section 9).

Accordingly, aesthetics is concerned with the claim that the particular wayin which things are present in our awareness may lead to a certain kind of object-related but subjective...

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References

  1. Baumgarten, A.G. 1961 [1750–1758]. Aesthetica. Hildesheim: G. Olms.
  2. Coote, J., and A. Shelton, eds. 1992. Anthropology, art and aesthetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  3. Davies, S. 2006. The philosophy of art. Malden: Blackwell.
  4. Dobres, M.-A. 2001. Meaning in the making: Agency and the social embodiment of technology and art. In Anthropological perspectives on technology, ed. M.B. Schiffer, 47–76. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  5. Forge, A. 1991. Hand stencils: Rock art or not? In Rock art and prehistory, ed. P. Bahn and A. Rosenfeld, 39–44. Oxford: Oxbow.
  6. Gell, A. 1992. The technology of enchantment and the enchantment of technology. In Anthropology, art and aesthetics, ed. J. Coote and A. Shelton, 40–63. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  7. Gell, A. 1998. Art and agency: Towards a new anthropological theory. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  8. Gosden, C. 2001. Making sense: Archaeology and aesthetics. World Archaeology 33 (2): 163–167.
  9. Heyd, T. 2003. Rock art aesthetics and cultural appropriation. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (1): 37–46.
  10. Heyd, T. 2007. Cross-cultural contact, etiquette and rock art. Rock-art Research 24 (2): 191–199.
  11. Heyd, T. 2012. Thinking through aesthetics, art, and humanly made marks on rocks. In Blackwell’s companion to rock art, ed. J. McDonald and P. Veth. Malden: Blackwell.
  12. Heyd, T., and J. Clegg, eds. 2005. Aesthetics and rock art. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  13. Kant, I. 1790 (1987) Critique of judgment. Trans. W.S. Pluhar. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing.
  14. Moro Abadía, O., and M.R. González-Morales. 2008. Paleolithic art studies at the beginning of the twenty-first century: A loss of innocence. Journal of Anthropological Research 64 (4): 529–552.
  15. Morphy, H. 1992. From dull to brilliant: The aesthetics of spiritual power among the Yolngu. In Anthropology, art, and aesthetics, ed. J. Coote and A. Shelton, 51–60. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  16. Morphy, H. 2005. Aesthetics across time and place: An anthropological perspective on archaeology. In Aesthetics and rock art, ed. T. Heyd and J. Clegg, 51–60. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  17. Pollard, J. 2001. The aesthetics of depositional practice. World Archaeology 33 (2): 315–333.
  18. Soffer, O., and M.W. Conkey. 1997. Studying ancient visual cultures. In Beyond art: Pleistocene image and symbol, ed. M.W. Conkey, O. Soffer, D. Stratmann, and N.G. Jablonski, 1–16. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences/University of California Press.
  19. Tomásková, S. 1997. Places of art: Art and archaeology in context. In Beyond art: Pleistocene image and symbol, ed. M.W. Conkey, O. Soffer, D. Stratmann, and N.G. Jablonski, 265–287. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences/University of California Press.
  20. White, R. 2003. Prehistoric art: The symbolic journey of humankind. New York: Harry Abrams.
  21. Ziff, P. 1997. Anything viewed. In Aesthetics, ed. S. Feagin and P. Maynard, 15–30. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Inés Domingo Sanz
    • 1
  • Danae Fiore
    • 2
  • Ewa Dutkiewicz
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Departament de Prehistòria, Història Antiga i ArqueologiaICREA/Universitat de Barcelona/SERPBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2."CONICET - AIA - UBA Asociación de Investigaciones Antropológicas"Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Stiftung Preußischer KulturbesitzBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary EcologyUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany