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OVERVIEW ON HUMANITIES

Meaning of Humanities
Humanus – Humanitas – Human, Humanity – it refers to the quality of being a human; huma, civilized,
cultured)

Branch of Learning – it refers to the study of the arts. As a study, its material object is “artwork” and its
formal object is “creativity and appreciation.”

Every creation around you which is made by human beings represents someone’s humanity. The
chair you're sitting in, the clothes you're wearing, the building you're in, or your home, even the time of
day which people created, all are representative of someone's humanity -- their human-ness. In other
words, everything that human beings have created can be classified as part of the humanities.

Misconceptions on the term Humanities


It should not be confused with the terms:
Humanism – specific philosophical belief
Humanitarianism – concern for charitable works.

Humanities vs. Philosophy


Comparison:
Humanities: Man is the source and fountain of all creativity. (Creating Subject)
Philosophy: Man is the starting point of knowledge. (Inquiring Subject)

Contrast:
Humanities: Explicit understanding of artworks – extensions of his being (man).
Philosophy: Implicit understanding of himself as composed of body and soul.

Why Study Humanities?


1. Through Humanities, we can be connected to places we have not visited, understand the past
or history which has significance to the present. It makes us encounter great minds and hearts
of human history.
2. Through Humanities, we will be studying what humans have found valuable or good
throughout the time.
3. Through Humanities, we experience connection between culture and community through
different art exposures – museum visits, concerts, theater performance, and support of local
artists.
4. Through Humanities, we increase our respect for cultural and individual differences through a
knowledge of achievements and of world civilization.
5. Through Humanities, we gain a global perspective through the knowledge of world cultures.
6. Through Humanities, we will be able to build up your career, focus our life minimize
frustration, and most importantly, be able to work as part of an effective team.

OVERVIEW ON THE ARTS


Art: Concept or Fact?
Art is either a concept or a fact. As a concept, it is subject to be understood and be grasped by any
perceiver. Furthermore, it cannot be defined because it springs from the ideas and emotions of man
concretized by means of any sensuous material.
But, art as a fact is observable; is that which is known through the senses. It refers then to any creative
work of an artist that can easily be described upon noticing the different mediums being used and the
context in which it is produced.

All art demands experience. There can be no appreciation of art without experience. An experience is
something that affects your life.

Persons Affected by Art Experience:


1. The person of the artist.
2. The person of the percipient.

Art and Experience


Characteristics of Experience:
1. It must be personal and individual. It must not exactly be the same as that of any other person.

2. Experience is accompanied by emotion or emotional reaction. You like it or you do not like it.

Artist vs. Craftsman

The word art originally meant skill, ability, or craft (corresponding to the Greek techne from which we
derive the words like technical and technique). In the ancient world, a "work of art" was simply any
object that required skill or craft in its production. Only gradually, beginning about the middle of the
17th century, did work of art mean a work of fine or high art.
The artisan or the craftsman is not expected to be original and he is good at his job to the extent that he
can successfully follow the relevant rules. A work of a craft is good if it matches the appropriate
template and performs the desired function.
The artist must be creative and original. Good art cannot be produced by slavish-rule following and
imitation. Great artists are genius whose works transcend the rules and conventions of their time.

General Classes of Artifacts

The three general classes of artifacts include the following:


1. Practically useful, but not disinterestedly pleasing (subjectively pleasing)
2. Both practically useful and disinterestedly pleasing (not subjectively pleasing); and
3. Not practically useful, but disinterestedly pleasing (not subjectively pleasing).

The works of art, most of the times, fall under the third class.
Disinterested – not determined by any personal or subjective interest. We take pleasure in something
because we judge it beautiful in itself, rather than judging it beautiful because we find it pleasurable.
Example: I like this artwork because it reminds me of the safety and warmth of our hometown. It is
your own pleasure that serves as the criterion in judging the art as beautiful. Artworks are beautiful in
themselves no matter they could give us subjective pleasure or not.

Natural objects vs. Artifacts

The following are the arguments that would separate each other from a single category:

Works of art can express ideas or feelings, but nature cannot.


Works of art---like sentences, but unlike natural objects--can mean something. This point can perhaps
be better put another way: works of art, like sentences, but unlike natural objects, can embody
communicative intentions. Take for example, reading a poem. Through it, we are presumably entitled
to ask, "What is trying to say?" We are certainly not entitled to ask such a question after looking at a
waterfall or a cloud.
Works of art can imitate nature (and can be applauded for doing so), but nature cannot imitate nature.

Characteristics of Art Works


The various characteristics of an art work are as follows:
1. They are man-made;
2. They are universal;
3. They are united;
4. They are diversified;
5. They are expressive;
6. They are creative; and
7. They are beautiful.

Resemblance theory in Art Work


This theory would mean that work of art may closely resemblance nature, but it can never duplicate
nature in as much as it is only man-made. The photographic art is somewhat closest to this theory. The
pictures or photographs you'll get are somewhat similar to the original specimen but even then, they are
only the records of the subject or a scene.

Art is Everywhere (Universal)


In every age or country, there is always art. Wherever we go, whether it is a city or a province, here or
abroad, we surely have to pass buildings of various sorts---houses, schools, churches, stores, etc. Some
of them appear attractive and inviting, some do not. We look at some of them with awe and admiration.
We find art also in the clothes and the accessories we wear, in the design of our furniture and
furnishings; in the styles of the vehicles we use. We find art objects in the home and in the community,
in religion, in trade and in industries.
Art is universally present in all forms of human society and in every generation because it serves some
fundamental needs.
Common Among Art Works (Unity)
The one thing that is common to all the works of art is the tie that relates a painting to a song, a play to
a dance. The most basic relationship is that the arts are concerned with emotions; with our feelings
about things. When a person sees a picture he thinks is beautiful or a play he thinks is exciting, he feels
that is lovely or stirring. His reaction is primarily emotional.

Diversity in Arts
The arts are remarkable in their diversity, not only in the subject matter but also in the materials and in
the forms. No rules can govern either in creation or in the appreciation. The artist is influenced by the
world around him, so that his work reflects the time and the place in which he lives. If artists or critics
do set up rules to follow, other artists and critics will prove the rules false. Arts change as life changes.
Authorities in arts state that the work of an artist must be judged against the background of the time in
which he lived.

Aesthetics
Function: noun
1. a particular taste for or approach to what is pleasing to the senses--especially sight.

Aesthetics in this definition is something that appeals to the senses. Someone’s aesthetic has to do with
his or her perceptual or artistic judgment.

It comes from the root word:


Aesthesia: the ability to feel or perceive; being awake and able to feel senses.

The opposite is:


Anesthesia: the inability to feel or perceive; to be asleep or non-feeling.

We make informal aesthetic choices every day.


From what we wear . . . to the things we buy: books, music, and objects for our homes.

Public figures make aesthetic choices to convey something about who they are.

Andy Warhol wore various silver wigs throughout ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s to change his personal
appearance--to create a signature look.
The aesthetic choices we make influence many parts of our lives.
We all have a personal aesthetic (preferences and tastes based on what we see).

The philosophy of aesthetics asks and tries to answer the “Big” Questions:
What is art?
What makes a piece of art beautiful?
How important are personal tastes when judging the quality of art?
What are the standards for judging art?
Why is originality so important in art? How do we define what is original or what is creative?

The major problem in aesthetics concerns the nature of the beautiful. Generally speaking there are two
basic approaches to the problem of beauty:

The objective approach asserts that beauty inheres in the object and that judgments concerning it may
have objective validity.

The subjective approach tends to identify the beautiful with that which pleases the observer.

Outstanding defenders of the objective position were Plato, Aristotle, and G. E. Lessing, and of the
subjective position, Edmund Burke and David Hume.

In his Critique of Judgment, Kant mediated between the two tendencies by showing that aesthetic
judgment has universal validity despite its subjective nature.

What counts as "art?“

Art, the product of creative human activity in which materials are shaped or selected to convey an idea,
emotion, or visually interesting form.

The word art can refer to the visual arts, including painting, sculpture, architecture, photography,
decorative arts, crafts, and other visual works that combine materials or forms.

We also use the word art in a more general sense to encompass other forms of creative activity, such as
dance, drama, and music, or even to describe skill in almost any activity, such as “the art of bread
making” or “the art of travel.”

Artists, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists and programmers all use the notion of art in their
respective fields, and give it operational definitions that are not very similar to each other.

The main recent sense of the word “art” is roughly as an abbreviation for creative art or “fine art.”

It means that skill is being used to express the artist’s creativity, or to engage the audience’s aesthetic
sensibilities, or to draw the audience towards consideration of the “finer” things.
Leo Tolstoy, claims that what makes something art or not is how it is experienced by its audience, not
by the intention of its creator.

Monroe Beardsley argue that whether or not a piece counts as art depends on what function it plays in a
particular context; the same Greek vase may play a non-artistic function in one context (carrying wine),
and an artistic function in another context (helping us to appreciate the beauty of the human figure).

Aesthetic Theories:
1. Representation (imitation, realism, mimesis)
2. Expressionism (emotionalism)
3. Formalism
4. Communication of moral and religious ideas
5. Symbolic (non-verbal) communication
6. Instrumentalism
7. Institutionalism

Representation (imitation, realism, mimesis):


The essence of art is to picture or portray reality. Good art mirrors the world, imitating nature or some
ideal form.

Expressionism (emotionalism):
The essence of art is expression of the inner emotions, feelings, moods, and mental states of the artist.
Good art effectively and sincerely brings these inner states to an external objectification.

Formalism:
The essence of art is “significant form” - lines, shapes, colors, and other formal properties of the work;
representation, expression, and other subject matter are irrelevant. Good art uses formal elements to
trigger an “aesthetic emotion” in sensitive observers.

Communication of moral and religious ideas:


The essence of art is the communication of important moral and religious values from the artist to the
observer. Good art is a form of sincere communication by the artist that “infects” the observers with
those important moral ideas.

Symbolic (non-verbal) communication:


The essence of art is the communication of important ideas and other knowledge through symbolic
(non-verbal) languages. Good art communicates its meaning effectively through this non-verbal
language.

Instrumentalism:
The essence of art is its usefulness in helping us to comprehend and improve our overall life
experiences. Good art is always a means to some important end.
Institutionalism:
Art is determined by status conferred upon it by the institutions of the art world not by an observable
property in the artwork itself.

What should art be like?


Many goals have been argued for art, and aestheticians often argue that some goal or another is
superior in some way.
Formal goals, creative goals, self-expression, political goals, spiritual goals, philosophical goals, and
even more perceptual or aesthetic goals have all been popular pictures of what art should be like.

What is the value of art?


Closely related to the question of what art should be like is the question of what its value is. Is art a
means of gaining knowledge of some special kind?

Does it give insight into the human condition? How does art relate to science or religion?
Is art perhaps a tool of education, or indoctrination, or enculturation? Does art make us more moral?

Can it uplift us spiritually? Is art perhaps politics by other means? Is there some value to sharing or
expressing emotions?

Is art perhaps a tool of education, or indoctrination, or enculturation? Does art make us more moral?

Can it uplift us spiritually? Is art perhaps politics by other means? Is there some value to sharing or
expressing emotions?

Aesthetic Judgment
Judgments of aesthetic value clearly rely on our ability to discriminate at a sensory level.
Aesthetics examines what makes something beautiful, sublime, disgusting, fun, cute, silly, entertaining,
pretentious, discordant, harmonious, boring, humorous, or tragic.
For Kant, judgments of beauty are sensory, emotional, and intellectual all at once.

What factors are involved in Aesthetic Judgment?


Thus, aesthetic judgments might be seen to be based on the senses, emotions, intellectual opinions,
will, desires, culture, preferences, values, subconscious behavior, conscious decision, training, instinct,
sociological institutions, or some complex combination of these, depending on exactly which theory
one employs.

Aesthetic judgments may be culturally conditioned to some extent


Sensory detection is linked in instinctual ways to facial expressions, and even behaviors like the gag
reflex.
Evaluations of beauty may well be linked to desirability, perhaps even to sexual desirability.
Judgments of aesthetic value can become linked to judgments of economic, political, or moral value.
Aesthetic judgments seem to often be at least partly intellectual and interpretative.
Principles of Aesthetics
1. No reasoned argument can conclude that objects are aesthetically valuable or valueless.

2. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they possess a special aesthetic property or exhibit a special
aesthetic form.

3. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they have the capacity to convey meaning or to teach general
truths.

4. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they have the capacity to produce pleasure in those who
experience or appreciate them.

5. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they have the capacity to convey values or beliefs central to the
cultures or traditions in which they originate, or important to the artists who made them.

6. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they have the capacity to help bring about social or political
change.

7. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they have the capacity to produce certain emotions we value, at
least when the emotion is brought about by art rather than by life.

8. Objects are aesthetically valuable if they have the capacity to produce special non-emotional
experiences, such as a feeling of autonomy or the will suspension of disbelief.

Aesthetic Universal
The philosopher Denis Dutton identified seven universal signatures in human aesthetics:

Expertise or virtuosity. Technical artistic skills are cultivated, recognized, and admired.

2. Non-utilitarian pleasure. People enjoy art for art's sake, and don't demand that it keep them warm or
put food on the table.

3. Style. Artistic objects and performances satisfy rules of composition that place them in a
recognizable style.

4. Criticism. People make a point of judging, appreciating, and interpreting works of art.

5. Imitation. With a few important exceptions like music and abstract painting, works of art simulate
experiences of the world.

6. Special focus. Art is set aside from ordinary life and made a dramatic focus of experience.

7. Imagination. Artists and their audiences entertain hypothetical worlds in the theater of the
imagination.
FUNCTIONS OF ART

PERSONAL FUNCTION
It is being used to provide comfort, happiness and convenience to human. The artist tries to express his
personal feelings through the art work.

SOCIAL AND CULTURAL FUNCTIONS


Art is used for public display and celebration; it is used to affect collective behavior. It bridges
connections among people. Art conveys sense of family, community or civilization.
Art helps preserve, share, and transmit culture of people from one generation to another.

AESTHETIC FUNCTION
Art becomes influential for man to be aware of the beauty of nature. Aesthetic is when there is the real
feelings of appreciation to nature’s beauty and are manifested through appreciation and enjoyment
when in contact with the artwork.

RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL FUNCTION


An artist may create a work of art to reinforce the religious or spiritual support of a culture.

BASIC PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES OF ART

Basic Philosophical Perspectives of Art


Art as mimesis (Plato) - According 'to him, art is an imitation of the real that was an imitation of the
ideal. Art is an imitation of an imitation.
Art as representation (Aristotle) - According to him, the aim of art is not to represent the outward
appearance of things but their inward significance.
Art for art’s sake (Immanuel Kant) - According to him, art has its own reason for being. It implies that
an art object is best understood as an autonomous creation to be valued only for its success as it
organizes color and line into a formally satisfying and beautiful whole.
Art as an escape - The ceremony of doing or creating art touches the deepest realms of the mind and the
sacred dimension of the artistic creative process. The sacred level of art not only transforms something
into art but also transforms the artist at the very core of his or her being.
Art as functional - Art serves a function. Art is meant to be used, to enrich lives to be spiritually potent,
to educate, to support or protest existing power structures, to entertain, and so on.

CATEGORIES/CLASSIFICATIONS OF ART

Visual Arts (2D, 3D)


Painting is the application of pigment (color) on any flat two-dimensional surfaces.
Sculpture is the carving, modelling, casting, constructing, and assembling of materials and objects into
primarily three-dimensional works of art

Architecture is the art and science of planning, designing, and constructing buildings and nonbuilding
structures for human shelter or use (3D).

Performing/Combined Arts
Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time.

Dance is the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space for
the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion.

Film also called movie or motion picture, is a series of still images that when shown on a screen creates
an illusion of moving images.

Theater is a collaborative form of art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present
the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage.
Literary is concentrating the writing, study or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for
quality of form.
Performance poetry is poetry specifically composed for or during a performance before an audience
rather than on print mostly open to improvisation.

Digital Arts
It is the art that is made with the assistance of electronic devices, or intended to displayed on a
computer, which is the most element in digital art.

Applied Arts
Applied arts are the application of design and decoration to everyday objects to make them
aesthetically pleasing.
Fashion design is the art of applying design, aesthetics, and natural beauty to clothing and its
accessories.
Furniture design is the art applying in designing couches, chairs, tables, shelves and decorative accents
for furniture pieces.
Interior design is enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically
pleasing environment for the people using the space.
Graphic design is an artistic process of effective communication. Designers combine words, images,
and symbols to create a visual representation of ideas.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Robert Fritz)


1. Conceive the result you want to create.
2. Know what currently exist.
3. Take actions.
4. Develop your creativity
5. Learn the rhythm of the creative process.

PREPARATION
This is the first phas which, most people call "work". A writer, for example, prepares by writing, by
reading, or by revising earlier work. A musician plays scales, chords, or aongs; a painter messes with
painta or visits an art gallery; an entrepreneur researches problems to solve.

INCUBATION
This would be the mystical process because you often don't know that yzour incubating an idea. It's
during this phase that conscious and subconscious minds are working on the idea, making new
connections, separating out necessary ideas and grabingfor other idea.

ILLUMINATION
This is the "Eureka" moment that many os us spend our days questing after. When it hits, the creative
urge is so incredibly strong that we lose track of whatelse is happening. The driving impulse is to get
whatever is going on down to whatever medium it's intended dor.

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