WORD: aesthetics

Aesthetics, as defined by the OED, has multiple definitions:
1. Of or pertaining to sensuous perception, received by the senses
2. Of or pertaining to the appreciation or criticism of the beautiful
3. Of or pertaining to a late nineteenth-century movement in England of artists and writers who advocated a doctrine of ‘art for art's sake’

Adorno uses the word "aesthetics" quite frequently within his writings. It would seem that he finds aesthetics to define art; in that what you find appealing aesthetically is what you define as your art. This broad definition leaves a lot of room for what "art" could be. Adorno does warn that while one might like something because of its aesthetics, "Art perceived strictly aesthetically is art aesthetically misperceived" (5). So while you should appreciate something because it appeals to your senses you should also view the piece in its entirety, deciphering meanings out of each artwork. One should look at art and realize that artwork has unconcious "forces" (6), which are just as material to the piece.

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