Art has been defined as a form of interaction between people and things designed either for pleasure or profit. Art usually refers to a work of visual art, sculpture, printmaking, pottery, architecture, or any other imaginative creation. A wide variety of different types of art have emerged throughout history. There are many different artistic styles that have developed throughout history and even today there is still a great debate about the definition of art.
Art is a broad range of human activities including creative imagination to communicate physical prowess, beauty, emotion, or mental ability, to name just a few. It is usually presented in a formal, conventional manner and is often associated with culture. In the United States, American art has traditionally focused on forms such as painting, music, dance, printmaking, architecture, photography, and sculpture. In Europe, by contrast, art has traditionally focused on materials and objects that are produced within the specific artistic culture of that region. This has included architecture, ceramics, furniture, and other building materials.
The word “art” actually derives from the Greek word “agra”, which means beauty. From this foundation, all forms of art are judged based on their ability to generate a visual and a tactile aesthetic experience. In order to be considered an art form, a work of art must meet certain criteria. Aesthetic experience is the only criterion that differentiates art from literature, film, and music. Additionally, a work of art cannot be determined to be art unless it generates an aesthetic experience.
Philosophy considers art to be a form of mental activity. Therefore, art does not necessarily require a particular skill or technique in order to be produced. Aesthetic appreciation and basic knowledge of how the mind works are essential to the appreciation and understanding of art. Philosophy also teaches that art is a human need and a part of our lives and that the process of appreciating art is a very natural and human process.
Aesthetics play a vital role in the interpretation and appreciation of philosophy. However, aesthetics is not dependent on the interpretation of philosophy. Philosophy can serve as a guide to the study of art but the concept of beauty itself is up to the viewer. Aesthetics, like reasoning and logic, are mere tools that help us better understand and appreciate the beauty in our surroundings and among the things we encounter in our daily lives.
Aesthetics as a whole cannot be separated. Aesthetics depend on the understanding of a particular philosophical perspective – for instance, contemporary philosophy on beauty. In fact, the separation of aesthetics and philosophy is artificial, as both are interdependent and intertwined with one another. Aesthetics cannot be separated from one another. So whether you appreciate art or not, chances are that you have experienced some form of beauty.