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A Philosophy of Mass Art 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0198742371
ISBN-10: 0198742371
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Frequently Bought Together

  • A Philosophy of Mass Art
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Noel Carroll has written an interesting and thought-provoking book."--Journal of Aesthetic Education


About the Author

Noël Carroll is Monroe C. Beardsley Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press; 1 edition (February 19, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198742371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198742371
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Carroll is worth reading just for the refreshing contrast he provides to the postmodernism that is endemic in cultural studies. Carroll applies analytic philosophy (ie, basically logic) to what he calls "mass art," and mainly has the same goal as the majority of cultural studies scholars -- he defends "mass art" as being potentially just as worthy as "elite art," both aesthetically and as the topic of analytical inquiry. However, Carroll is emphatically not part of the cultural studies scene -- his arguments have to do with the way "mass art" is, by design, accessible to ALL people, not just certain favored, oppressed groups. Carroll's political agenda then, if you take the position that we all have one, would seem to be a liberal humanism of the Enlightenment, which is not a category I consign to the Evil Other of a binary category!

I appreciate Carroll's independence, but his definition of "mass art" is idiosyncratic and not likely to take the field by storm. The definition has 3 parts: 1) the art is a multiple instance, 2) produced and distributed by a mass technology, and 3) is designed (with narrative form, symbolism, intended affect and content) to be accessible with minimum effort by the largest number of people. So Carroll wants to define his "mass" category both in contrast to pre-industrial popular art that was not mass produced, and to avant-garde art that is not designed to appeal to the "mass" of people.

This is problematic. While Carroll argues persuasively against MacDonald, Greenberg, Collingwood, Adorno and Horkheimer in his first chapter defending the potential of mass/popular art, he maintains the distinction between high and low art, which he calls instead "avant-garde" and "mass.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The pure strength of argument in book made me change my views on mass art. I used to be against it, now I'm for it, even though I'm not a fan of it. Carroll thoroughly examines arguments of both celebrations and condemnations of mass art (things like recorded music, TV, film, etc.), its nature, its status as art, its value. Even if you're not interested in the philosophy of art, I would still recommend this book for its analysis of the concept of Ideology, and because this book is a good lesson in how to do philosophy.
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Format: Paperback
The work takes a critical and comprehensive approach to the philosophy of mass art. Carroll meticulously examines the subject, giving a detailed account of the position of the major writers on the subject. This thoroughness is the major weakness of the work, since Carroll at times repeats points he has already made, while covering ground which does not seem necessary. As a teaching text, the work offers many possibilities, particularly given the accuracy with which Carroll describes the thoughts of Writers such as McLuhan, Greenberg, and Collingwood. In terms of actual philosophical advancement, Carroll does not seem to be able to sufficiently develop his own thesis that mass art is art, but does make a worthwhile attempt.
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