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Work and the Aesthetic

Petts, Jeffrey (2012) Work and the Aesthetic. PhD thesis, University of York.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

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Work and the Aesthetic argues for the priority of a work-centred account of aesthetic interest. This 'Work Theory' proposes an internal relation between good work as an activity and our aesthetic interest in made things. Each is conceptually related to the other so that to be good, work as an activity must engage aesthetic interest; and aesthetic interest in products, in making, viewing and using them, is an interest in different aspects of good work. Good work is characterised around three elements, the technical, functional, and authentic, which essentially relate to work that is skilful, responsive to design problems, and freely chosen. Work Theory has important antecedents in the Arts and Crafts Movement, modern conceptions of the work of designers, and in existentialist accounts of free choice. Work Theory's core tenet of an internal relation between good work and aesthetic interest throws light on some problematic areas in philosophical aesthetics, including the nature of aesthetic interest, the relations of craft to art, aesthetic education, and what is meant by 'everyday aesthetics'. Work Theory also provides a framework for understanding what it is for lives to be aesthetic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: aesthetics, work, craft, art, design, authenticity, Arts and Crafts, internal relations, aesthetic experience, everyday aesthetics
Academic Units: The University of York > Philosophy (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.570120
Depositing User: Dr Jeffrey Petts
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2013 08:57
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:01
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3802

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