The Pop Effect
The Pop Effect
This chapter examines the nascent collaboration between aesthetics and contemporary art by focusing on the critical reception of the emergence of American Pop art in the early 1960s by four philosophers: Susan Sontag, Stanley Cavell, Arthur C. Danto, and Umberto Eco. In particular, it considers the influence of these philosophers on aesthetics—what it calls the Pop Effect. Sontag, Cavell, Danto, and Eco all realized that Pop was a development within art that aesthetic theory at the time could not understand or explain because most aestheticians had not yet fully appreciated the philosophical significance of the history of modernism and were thus ill-prepared to comprehend 1960s art. To analyze the collaboration between aesthetics and contemporary art in the 1960s, the chapter looks at Thomas Crow's book The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent. It also discusses the ethics and politics of Pop in relation to its aesthetics.
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