Aesthetics into the Twenty-First Century
Originally published in Filozofski Vestnik, Volume 23, No. 2 (2007).
The new concerns facing aestheticians in the twenty-first century require serious attention if the discipline is to maintain continued viability as an intellectual discipline. Just as art changes as cultures develop, so must aesthetics. In support of this view is a personal account of evolving engagement with aesthetics and the factors that led to embracing change and a plurality of practices as essential to the health of aesthetic today. A brief examination of the state of aesthetics as it has evolved in the American Society for Aesthetics since its inception in the 1940s will follow. These two lines of development, one idiosyncratic and personal, and the other focusing on the aims and outcomes of one prominent national society, will perhaps offer some useful background for understanding the current state of aesthetics and the problems confronting the discipline today. Following these considerations will be a look at some of the main concerns reflected in the social and political aesthetics and the expansion of aesthetics to include the popular arts which again challenges aesthetics to move beyond its historic boundaries.