Artistic expression

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-M020-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

References and further reading

These works are not introductory in style, though none is forbiddingly technical or formal.

  • Bouwsma, O.K. (1950) ‘The Expression Theory of Art’, in M. Black (ed.) Philosophical Analysis, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 71–96.

    (Widely reprinted. Classic discussion of a spread of relevant issues. See §3–6 of this entry.)

  • Budd, M. (1985) Music and the Emotions: The Philosophical Theories, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

    (Fine discussion of theories of music’s expressiveness and of Hanslick’s denial of such expressiveness; includes a chapter on the nature of the emotions.)

  • Budd, M (1989) ‘Music and the Communication of Emotion’, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 47: 129–138.

    (Considers the connection between expression and value in music and discusses several theories of musical expressiveness. See §5–7.)

  • Budd, M (1989) ‘Music and the Expression of Emotions’, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 23 (3): 19–29.

    (Reviews various strategies for explaining music’s expressiveness; opts for account making make-believe central. See §6.)

  • Budd, M (1995) The Values of Art: Pictures, Poetry and Music, London: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press.

    (Includes discussions of the nature and value of expressiveness in art with special attention to music.)

  • Davies, S. (1986) ‘The Expression Theory Again’, Theoria 52: 146–167.

    (Criticizes the expression theory and distinguishes modes of expressive behaviour.)

  • Davies, S. (1994) Musical Meaning and Expression, Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell University Press.

    (Presents a detailed critique of theories of expressiveness in the arts, especially music; defends the account of artistic expressiveness outlined in §4; discusses the value of expressiveness; contains extensive bibliography.)

  • Elliott, R.K. (1966–7) ‘Aesthetic Theory and the Experience of Art’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 67: 111–126.

    (Art is to be experienced imaginatively from within, and objectively from without.)

  • Elliott, R.K (1973) ‘Imagination in the Experience of Art’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, 6: 88–105.

    (Outlines the ways imagination enters in the experience of art and defends its place there.)

  • Gombrich, E.H. (1962) ‘Art and the Language of the Emotions’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplement 36: 215–234.

    (Argues that, in art, the natural dimension of expressiveness is structured by conventions.)

  • Kivy, P. (1989) Sound Sentiment, Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

    (Includes The Corded Shell (1980), in which he argues that music expresses emotion mainly by resembling expressive behaviour, and additional papers on the topic. See §§3, 6.)

  • Levinson, J. (1982) ‘Music and Negative Emotion’, The Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 63: 327–346.

    (Discusses the value of negative responses to art’s expressiveness. See §7.)

  • Nolt, J. (1981) ‘Expression and Emotion’, The British Journal of Aesthetics, 21: 139–150.

    (Defends arousal theory. See §3.)

  • Osborne, H. (1982) ‘Expressiveness in the Arts’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 41: 19–26.

    (Outlines the difficulties of attributing expressive properties to art works and argues that music expresses moods, not emotions.)

  • Osborne, H. (1983) ‘Expressiveness: Where is the Feeling Found?’, The British Journal of Aesthetics, 23: 112–123.

    (Outlines the problems of attributing expressive properties to art works.)

  • Robinson, J. (1983) ‘Art as Expression’, in H. Curtler (ed.) What Is Art?, New York: Haven, 93–121.

    (Emphasizes that artistic expressiveness is treated as a communication from the artist, though not as a direct expression of occurrent feelings.)

  • Scruton, R. (1983) ‘The Nature of Musical Expression’, in The Aesthetic Understanding, London: Methuen, 49–61.

    (Regards musical expressiveness as gestural and metaphoric, and distinguishes ‘transitive’ from ‘intransitive’ expressiveness. See §6.)

  • Speck, S. (1988) ‘“Arousal Theory” Reconsidered’, British Journal of Aesthetics 28: 40–47.

    (A defence of arousal theory.)

  • Stecker, R. (1984) ‘Expression of Emotion in (Some of) the Arts’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 42: 409–418.

    (Holds that the arts differ in the manner of their expressiveness, depending on whether they possess a semantic, representational or other content.)

  • Tormey, A. (1971) The Concept of Expression, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    (A detailed and sophisticated account of the notion of expressiveness in art; includes extended criticism of the expression theory.)

  • Vermazen, B. (1986) ‘Expression as Expression’, The Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 67: 196–224.

    (Holds that, in ascribing expressiveness to art works, including nonrepresentational ones, we are talking of the emotions of a fictional persona that we locate in the work.)

  • Wollheim, R. (1964) ‘On Expression and Expressionism’, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 18: 270–289.

    (Discusses the nature of expressiveness.)

  • Wollheim, R. (1968) ‘Expression’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 1: 227–244.

    (Discusses expressiveness in painting, the artist’s expression of emotion, and the conventions involved in this. See §4.)

Citing this article:
Davies, Stephen. Bibliography. Artistic expression, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-M020-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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