This title provides an accessible, yet sophisticated, introduction to the significant philosophical issues concerning the performing arts
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“This is a remarkable and remarkably useful book, and for much the same reason … The other result is that professionals in the philosophy of art will have to rise to the challenge. Davies has set the bar very high.” (Oxford Journals Clippings, 4 May 2012)
"Philosophy of the Performing Arts is a careful and detailed study in analytic philosophical aesthetics ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through professional/practitioners." (Choice, 1 January 2012)
"David Davies' Philosophy of the Performing Arts is a long-awaited book. For not since Paul Thom's For an Audience has a book in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition focused so clearly, exclusively, informatively and fairly on all of the performing arts. I will use David Davies' The Performing Arts in my classes."
—James Hamilton, Kansas State University, author of The Art of Theater
"In this outstanding philosophical study, David Davies subjects the different, conflicting literatures characterizing works, performances, and their relationships to critical review en route to developing his own integrated theory. Covering classical music to jazz, Shakespeare to Brecht, dance to performance art, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the performing arts."
—Stephen Davies, University of Auckland, author of The Philosophy of Art
Philosophical inquiry on the performing arts has tended to focus on music; specifically classical music, which is assumed to provide a model for approaching the performing arts as a whole. This book engages with this belief and explores the ways in which the ‘classical paradigm’ might be extended to other musical genres, to theatre, and to dance.
Taking in the key components of artistic performance - improvisation, rehearsal, the role of the audience, the embodied nature of the artistic performer – the book examines the similarities and differences between the performing art forms and presents the key philosophical issues that they bring into play. These reflections are then applied to the traditionally difficult issue of contemporary artworks usually classified as ‘performance art’.
Assuming no prior knowledge of the subject matter, this book provides an accessible, yet sophisticated, introduction to the field and a comprehensive framework for thinking about the performing arts.