Art

What Is Art? Gombrich, Popper and Anderson

Gombrich: The search for objectivity Two young émigrés who fled Vienna just before the Second World War were the philosopher of science Karl Popper and the art historian Ernst Gombrich. In London they became lifelong friends, later knights, and members of the Queen’s exclusive coterie—of twenty-four—the Order of Merit. Together they attempted to develop a realist solution to the problem of objectivity in aesthetics. Gombrich applied a Popperian understanding to try and avoid foundering on the rocks of relativism. Does this enable him to navigate past the shipwrecks of Tolstoy and Plato? One obvious course is to rest the realist…

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