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    Jason Holt, Meanings of Art: Essays in Aesthetics (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2015), 208 pages.

ISBN: 978-1-927763-39-1 (ebook) - $5.00

ISBN: 978-1-927763-38-4 (softcover) - $17.0

Published on 29 October 2015

eBook: $5.00     Buy the ebook (PDF with hyperlinks)


The perspective unfolded and defended here is a philosophical theory of art grounded in particular understandings of the creative process, aesthetic experience, and interpretive practice. The thematic link among all of these is the concept of meaning: what it means to make art, how the meanings we attach to artworks in interpretation shape our appreciation, the nature and value of aesthetic experience, and ultimately the definition of art itself. On this view, creating art is an expressive process that, as such, may be left incomplete. Aesthetic experience is understood as a special kind of resolution of conflict between the intellect and the emotions, one resonant with a very old tradition in aesthetics as well as cutting-edge neuroaesthetics. It is because of the deep human need for such experience that this book champions the interpretive openness of artworks and pluralism when it comes to interpretive and critical practice.

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About the book:

Jason Holt's Meanings of Art is one of the most important works in aesthetics to appear in some time. His point of view is fresh, his scholarship immaculate and his writing polished. I would not hesitate to use this book in a class on aesthetics.
--Peter Schotch, Munro Chair in Metaphysics, Dalhousie University

Holt provides an impressive array of arguments and analyses in his discussions of fundamental problems and in building an original expressive-aesthetic theory of art... Readers are not likely to find a more amply articulated presentation and defense of theory and applications in recent work in analytic aesthetics.
--Steven Sanders, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Bridgewater State University

Anyone interested in the nature and significance of art, artworks, and artists will find Meanings of Art an invaluable and timely contribution to our thinking on aesthetics.
--Joseph Westfall, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Houston-Downtown

[R]ich and engaging... Holt writes with a rare combination of analytical precision and literary flair, shedding new light on perennial issues.
--William Irwin, Herve A. LeBlanc Distinguished Service Professor, King's College

A deft combination of the theoretical and the applied, Holt's analyses and original arguments will be useful to both scholars and general audiences interested in understanding the creative process and how careful attention enriches our appreciation.
--Aeon J. Skoble, Professor of Philosophy, Bridgewater State University

[O]ffers a wealth of reflections on thorny issues in aesthetics... from painstaking philosophical analysis of fundamental problems to a fluent engagement with popular culture.
--Bernard Wills, Associate Professor of Humanities, Memorial University at Grenfell

Holt's achievement is to carry abstract thought about matters philosophical into the arena of art appreciation. He applies his depth of knowledge to specific cases that engage the reader.
--Edward Winters, artist and philosopher, author of Aesthetics and Architecture

[An] extraordinary collection... Holt's brilliant and groundbreaking book should set a standard in the field.
--Liane Heller, poet, author of Exposures and Code of Silence