First published by the Clarendon Press, 1938.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction -- Book I : Art and not art -- Art and craft -- Art and representation -- Art as magic -- Art as amusement -- Art proper : (1) as expression -- Art proper : (2) as imagination -- Book II : The theory of imagination -- Thinking and feeling -- Sensation and imagination -- Imagination and consciousness -- Language -- Book III : The theory of art -- Art as language -- Art and truth -- Artist and the community -- Conclusion.
This treatise on aesthetics begins by showing that the word 'art' is used as a name not only for 'art proper' but also for certain things which are 'art falsely so called'. These are craft or skill, magic and amusement, each of which, by confusion with art proper, generates a false aesthetic theory. In the course of attacking these theories the author criticizes various psychological theories of art, offers a new theory of magic, and reinterprets Plato's so-called 'attack on art', showing that it has been entirely misunderstood. Finally, he draws important inferences concerning the position of art in human society.