chapter  9
12 Pages


The term ‘formalism’ can refer to many different things. In art criticism, it has been used to refer to the important writings of Clement Greenberg; in literary history, it has been associated with the influential school of Russian Formalism; and in art history it has been used to refer to the writings of Alois Riegl and Heinrich Wolfflin. For the purposes of this essay, however, attention will be paid to its usage in philosophical aesthetics, where ‘formalism’ denotes a position on the nature of art which has important implications for the limits of artistic appreciation.