chapter  8
WithHarrison C. White
Pages 14

Arts are vastly and magnificently inventive technically, and they proliferate in volume and avenue despite their niggardly share of national income. Within art worlds there is enough richness of relation, together with sufficient intricacy of conceptual development, to equal earlier culminations in renaissances. The arts are as varied and messy and fascinating as the social worlds that they help us to experience and reconstruct. The chapter aims to develop three themes that have been left largely implicit thus far—differences among arts; art and reality; and, finally, prognostication about arts from identity needs. Approaches to beauty are argued and constructed within particular social contexts of arts, although the separate approaches may, like ideas of truth in sciences, come to share features. Art was crucial to social life long before there were artists, or particular arts, because identities and ties always are being celebrated and announced with the help of artworks.