Arnold Berleant (born 4 March 1932 ) is an American scholar and author who is active in both philosophy and music. Arnold Berleant was born in Buffalo, New York. He received his advanced musical education at the Eastman School of Music and his doctorate in philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is Professor of Philosophy (Emeritus) at Long Island University, former Secretary-General and Past President of the International Association of Aesthetics, and former Secretary-Treasurer of the American Society for Aesthetics. His books and articles in philosophy focus on aesthetics, environmental aesthetics, and ethics. Arnold Berleant is the founding editor of Contemporary Aesthetics, an international on-line journal of contemporary aesthetic theory, research, and application.
Life and work
As a philosopher Berleant has written on important aspects of both aesthetic theory and the arts. These include ontological and metaphysical issues, basic theoretical questions such as appreciation and aesthetic experience, and explorations of music, architecture, painting and literature.Renee Conroy, â€œBerleant Review,â€ (Philadelphia, PA: American Society for Aesthetics, Eastern Division, April 2006). His first book, The Aesthetic Field: A Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience (1970), established the concept of the aesthetic field as a contextual framework within which questions in aesthetics and the arts can be most fully illuminated. Much of his subsequent work has focused on environmental aesthetics, attending both to general issues and to specific kinds of environment. The aesthetics of environment is a theme that he has elaborated and extended in much of his writing.Cheng Xiangzhan, â€œEnvironmental Aesthetics and Ecological Aesthetics: Arnold Berleantâ€™s Impact on Ecological Aesthetics in China,â€ Sztuka i Filozofia-Special Issue (forthcoming). In Art and Engagement (1991), Berleant exemplified the usefulness of the concept of the aesthetic field by applying it to a range of arts â€“ landscape painting, architecture and environmental design, literature, music, dance, and film.American Society for Aesthetics, Summer 1991. p. 9. Emerging from these original studies was the recognition that the different arts evoke experiences with their own claims to reality. Moreover, these experiences exhibit an intense, active perceptual involvement that he calls â€œaesthetic engagement,â€ which belies the traditional claim of aesthetic disinterestedness. The innovative concept of engagement leads to new perspectives on a variety of traditional esthetic topics, including metaphorical language, urban design, music, and metaphysics, and opens less traditional topics, such as virtual reality and social interaction to aesthetic analysis. The body of Berleantâ€™s work challenges the traditional view of philosophical aesthetics, which posits â€œdisinterestednessâ€ as foundational in aesthetic experience. Berleant draws upon both phenomenology and pragmatism for an opposing theory of aesthetic perception based on the notion of engagement.M. Feder-Marcus, Choice (American Library Association, December, 1991), p. 255)
State University of New York College, Fredonia, N.Y., 1949-1951. Major: music education; major instrument: piano
B.M. with distinction, Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, 1953. Major: music theory; major instrument: piano
M.A., Eastman School of Music, 1955. Major: music theory; major instrument: piano. Thesis: "The Fugue in the Orchestral Works of BartÃ³k"
Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1962. Major: philosophy. Dissertation: "Logic and Social Doctrine: Dewey's Methodological Approach to Social Philosophy."
Honors and awards
Doctor of Fine Arts (Hon.), The Rhode Island School of Design, 2011.
Honorary Guest Professor, Wuhan University, P.R. China, 2004â€“2007
Honorary Life Member, International Association for Aesthetics, 2002
Honorary Member, Sydney Society for Literature and Aesthetics, 1999
Honorary Member, Finnish Society of Aesthetics, 1997
President, International Association for Aesthetics, 1995â€“1998
Long Island University Trustees Award for Scholarly Achievement, 1992 for Art and Engagement.
Aesthetics beyond the Arts: New and Recent Essays (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2012). .
Sensibility and Sense: The Aesthetic Transformation of the Human World (Exeter: Imprint Academic, 2010). .
Re-thinking Aesthetics, Rogue Essays on Aesthetics and the Arts (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004). . Polish trans., (Universitas, 2007); Chinese trans. (Wuhan University Press, 2010).
Aesthetics and Environment, Theme and Variations on Art and Culture (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005). .
Living in the Landscape: Toward an Aesthetics of Environment (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997). .
The Aesthetics of Environment (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992. Paperback edition, 1994). . Greek trans., (Athens: Michelis Institute, 2004). Chinese trans. (Hunan Publishing Group, 2006).
Art and Engagement (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991. Paperback edition, 1991.) . Chinese trans.,(Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2011.)
The Aesthetic Field: A Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience (Springfield, Ill.: C. C. Thomas 1970). 2nd edition (Cybereditions 2001.
The Fugue in the Orchestral Works of BartÃ³k (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1958). Microcards.
"Further Ruminations on Music as an Exemplary Art," New Sound, International Journal of Music, Issue 50, (2017), 129-137.
"Objects into Persons: The Way to Social Aesthetics,: in Aesthetics Between Art and Society: Perspectives of Arnold Berleant's Postkantian Aesthetics of Engagement, Espes Vol. 6, No. 2 (2017), 9-18.
Interview in Rethinking Modernism and the Built Environment, ed. Almantas Samalavicius (Cambridge Scholars Publ., 2017).
â€œAesthetic Engagement in Video Dance," Engagement: Symposium of Philosophy and Dance, Texas State University San Marcos, Texas 8â€“10 September 2016. Unpublished.
Preface to Philosophy of Landscape: To Think, Walk, Build, ed. Adriana VerÃssimo SerrÃ£o (Leuven University Press), forthcoming.
â€œSome Questions for Ecological Aesthetics," Environmental Philosophy, (Spring 2016), 123-135; Chinese trans. by Li Sujie, Dong Yue Tribune, No. 4, 2016.
â€œThe Co-optation of Sensibility and the Subversion of Beauty," Filozofski vestnik XXXVI/1, 2015 (Lljubljana). Special issue on everyday aesthetics. In Slovenian and English. Also in Pragmatism Today, Vol. 6 No.2 (Winter 2015), 38-47.
â€œEnvironmental Aesthetics West and East," in symposium on environmental aesthetics in China and the West, Journal of Heilongjang University (Seeking Truth) Vol. 1 (China, 2015). In Chinese.
â€œThoreau's Poetics of Nature," No Beauty, No Peace: Rethinking the Role of Beauty and Immediacy in Ecocritical Criticism, ed. Peter Quigley and Scott Slovik (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2018), pp. 41â€“50.
â€œIdeas for an Ecological Aesthetics,â€ in Xiangzhan Cheng, Arnold Berleant, Paul Gobster, Xinhao Wang, eds., Ecological Aesthetics and Ecological Planning, (Henan People's Press, 2014), pp. 54â€“72.
â€œThe Cultural Aesthetics of Environment,â€ in Annals for Aesthetics, Fiftieth Anniversary Issue (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014), pp. 61â€“72.(Presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Environmental Philosophy, Montreal, 7 November 2010.)
"Sensibility: The Growth of an Aesthetic," "What Titles Don't Tell," and "Engaging Dewey: The Legacy of Dewey's Aesthetics" in Sztuka i Filozofia, Vol. 37/2011. Special issue devoted to the work of Arnold Berleant, with contributions by Polish, Chinese, and American scholars. 165 pages.
â€œThe Aesthetics of Politics,â€ in The Primacy of Aesthetic Experience in Late Modernity (Universitas, 2010), Polish trans., forthcoming. Chinese translation forthcoming in journal, Marxism Aesthetics Research, 2011. Another Chinese translation forthcoming in a collection on environmental aesthetics ed. by W. H. Chen (Wuhan University Press).
â€œThe Human Touch and the Beauty of Nature,â€ in Rethinking Landscape by Ian Thompson (Routledge, 2009).
"On Judging Scenic Beauty," in Aesthetic Culture: Essays in Honour of YrjÃ¶ SepÃ¤nmaa, ed. S. Knuuttila, E. SevÃ¤nen, and R. Turunen ( Maahenki Co: 2007). pp. 57â€“75.
"Judging Architecture," in Poreia (Athens: National Technical University, 2007), pp. 144â€“151. Festschrift in honor of Dionysis Zivas.
"The Soft Side of Stone," International Conference on the Aesthetics of Stone and Rock, Koli, Finland, 14 June 2007. Published in Finnish in Jalo kivi (Helsinki: Maahenki Oy, 2010) and in English in Environmental Philosophy, Vol. 4, Nos. 1 & 2 (Spring & Fall, 2007).
"Distant Cities: Thoughts on an Aesthetics of Urbanism," paper given at the International Institute of Applied Aesthetics (IIAA) international summer school in environmental aesthetics and philosophy on Urban Spaces, Everyday Experience and Well-Being, Lahti, Finland, 19 June 2006.
"Ideas for a Social Aesthetic," in The Aesthetics of Everyday Life, Andrew Light and Jonathan M. Smith (eds.). (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 23â€“38.
"The Aesthetic in Place," in Constructing Place, ed. Sarah Menin (New York: Routledge, 2003), Ch.1, pp. 41â€“54.
"Is There Life in Virtual Space," in The Virtual Environment, ed. Pauline von Bonsdorff and Arto Haapala (Lahti, Finland: International Institute of Applied Aesthetics).
"Notes for a Cultural Aesthetic," Koht ja Paik / Place and Location, ed. Virve Sarapik, Kadri TÃ¼Ã¼r, and Mari Laanemets (Eesti Kunstiakadeemia, 2002), pp. 19â€“26.
"Re-thinking Aesthetics," in Filozofski vestnik, XX (2/1999 - XIV ICA), Proceedings of the XIV International Congress of Aesthetics (Ljubljana, Slovenia, pp. 25â€“33.
"Environmental Aesthetics," for The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, ed. M. Kelly ( Oxford University Press, 1998).
"Environment and the Body," in Place and Embodiment, ed. P.T. Karjalainen & P.von Bonsdorff (Lahti: University of Helsinki, 1997), pp. 69â€“78.
"The Critical Aesthetics of Disney World," Journal of Applied Philosophy, 11/2 (1994), 171-180. As "Deconstructing Disney World," translated into Chinese by Niu Hong Bao and published in Wen She Zhe (Literature, History, and Philosophy, a journal in P.R. China), 1994/2, 92-103. Reprinted in The Aesthetics of Human Environments, edited by Arnold Berleant and Allen Carlson (Peterborough, Ont: Broadview, 2007).
Perspectives on Contemporary Aesthetics. Co-edited with Yuriko Saito. (RISD Shortrun Publications, 2016). .
Environment and the Arts; Perspectives on Art and Environment. Editor. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2002). . Chinese trans., Liu Yu, (Chongqing Publishing House, 2007).
The Aesthetics of Human Environments. Co-edited with Allen Carlson. (Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2007). .
The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Co-edited with Allen Carlson. (Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2004).
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 56/2 (1998). Special issue on environmental aesthetics. Guest co-editor (with Allen Carlson).
The Ethical Factor in Business Decisions (Brookville, N.Y.: C. W. Post Center of Long Island University, 1982). Editor.
Journal Issues on Berleant's Work
Espes Journal, "Aesthetics Between Art and Society: Perspectives of Arnold Berleant's Postkantian Aesthetics of Engagement," Vol. 6, No. 2, edited by Aleksandra Lukaszewicz Alcaraz (2017).
Sztuka i Filozofia, Vol. 37/2010, edited by Bogna J. ObidziÅ„ska.
University of Buffalo had just become the State University of New York at Buffalo when Berleant received his doctorate. It is now called The University at Buffalo.
Contemporary Aesthetics, is an international, interdisciplinary, peer- and blind-reviewed online journal of contemporary theory, research, and application in aesthetics. (ISSN 1932-8478)
Berleant first introduced the term 'engagement' in "The Experience and Criticism of Art," Sarah Lawrence Journal, Winter 1967, pp. 55â€“64.
Temple University Press
Arnold Berleant's website
Category:1932 births Category:American musicologists Category:American non-fiction writers Category:Living people Category:Philosophers from New York (state) Category:Philosophers of art Category:Writers from Buffalo, New York