Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Doctoral Dissertation cited

Pleased to see I'm quoted and cited in a recent (2007) Master's Thesis from the University of Victoria by Catherine M. Nutting:

 She writes: " Jack Miller, in “Herbert Read’s Philosophy of Art,” argues that Read’s aesthetic theory is a coherent system because it contains a clear definition of art, provides a basis for criticism, and
explains how art relates to the psyche and to society.19"

Abstract of My Dissertation:

Dissertation Abstracts: Citation
Your Search: ti:(herbert read's philosophy of art)
DEGREE:PH.D. | TULANE UNIVERSITY (School code: 0235) | Date: 1980.
NOTES:00182 pages. | UMI order no.: AAI8028501 | Print index reference: DAI 41-06A: 2643

ABSTRACT: The central thesis of the dissertation is that a coherent, consistent philosophy of art, which meets specific criteria, informs the work of Herbert Read. The examination of these criteria reveals further the unity and importance of Read's thought upon art.
A philosophy of art requires a clear, adequate definition of art. The dissertation examines Read's meeting of this criterion first by means of an internal definition--an inductive study of each fine art making up the general category. Next, it presents his external definition--a comparative view of art among several cognitive forms. Read claims that art, as a symbolic form, conveys knowledge unattainable by any other form. Further, he sees art as essential to the evolution of other forms of cognition--science, for example. Read goes beyond Ernst Cassirer and Susanne Langer, the latter, whose understanding of art as embodiment of feeling, Read finds inadequate. Read's exploration of the full meaning of feeling leads to a thorough analysis.
This analysis involves the elaboration of the second criterion of a philosophy of art, namely, that it study the relationship between art and the psyche. Read extends his neo-Kantian definition of art as a symbolic form to the understanding of art as an embodiment of archetypes. Read applies theory from Carl Jung directly to art, amending psychology to account for a wide range of traditional and contemporary art. The dissertation presents Read's evaluation of art as essential to self-knowledge.
The third criterion the dissertation sets is that a philosophy of art account for the relationship of art and society. Read fulfills this requirement by an examination of such problems as the shifting source of patronage, the need for art in education, and the role of art in balancing the needs of a civilization. Read consistently extends into the area of society discoveries made in his study of art and the individual.
An examination of the link between art and nature is the fourth requirement of a philosophy of art. This criteron is central to Read's philosophy and completes his study of the meaning of feeling in art. Read argues that art embodies the full range of felt experience, including that of nature. He considers art as a continuation of natural processes and as a means to connection between man and nature.
Fifth, a philosophy of art, to be thorough, must consider the role of art criticism as well as provide a basis for such criticism. The dissertation examines how Read's work meets both needs, presenting a view of the vital part played by the critic and offering a philosophical groundwork for evaluating particular works of art.
Finally, seen critically in the light of these criteria, Read's philosophy emerges as a unified overview of the meaning and value of art. The dissertation concludes with a review of these criteria and an evaluation of Read's place in modern art theory.

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