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Sorin Sabou

Letter to the Romans, Nicomachean Ethics, and more

Formalism In The Philosophy of Art

Formalism in the philosophy of art says that ‘the properties in virtue of which an artwork is an artwork […] are formal in the sense of being a accessible by direct sensation alone’ (Dowling). We can go deeper in the area of aesthetics if we have two qualities: artistic sensibility and clear thinking (Bell, 261); the personal experience is central to this endeavor. Is there some quality common and peculiar to all objects that are able to provoke the ‘aesthetic emotion’? (Bell, 262) The existence of an artwork depends on this quality. Bell understands this quality as ‘significant form’ (Bell, 262). The variety of relations and combinations of lines and colors is called ‘significant form.’Read more...