Cultural Appropriation and the Arts - download pdf or read online

By James O. Young

Now, for the 1st time, a thinker undertakes a scientific research of the ethical and aesthetic matters to which cultural appropriation provides upward thrust.

  • Cultural appropriation is a pervasive characteristic of the modern global (the Parthenon Marbles stay in London; white musicians from Bix Beiderbeck to Eric Clapton have appropriated musical types from African-American culture)
  • Young deals the 1st systematic philosophical research of the ethical and aesthetic concerns to which cultural appropriation provides rise
  • Tackles head at the thorny matters bobbing up from the conflict and integration of cultures and their artifacts
  • Questions thought of comprise: “Can cultural appropriation lead to the construction of aesthetically winning works of art?” and “Is cultural appropriation within the arts morally objectionable?”
  • Part of the very popular New instructions in Aesthetics sequence

Chapter 1 what's Cultural Appropriation? (pages 1–31):
Chapter 2 The Aesthetics of Cultural Appropriation (pages 32–62):
Chapter three Cultural Appropriation as robbery (pages 63–105):
Chapter four Cultural Appropriation as attack (pages 106–128):
Chapter five Profound Offence and Cultural Appropriation (pages 129–151):

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Additional info for Cultural Appropriation and the Arts

Sample text

Since the moral case against cultural appropriation can depend on an aesthetic premise, Chapter 2 of this essay is devoted to considering the aesthetic case against cultural appropriation. Quite independently of any moral implications, the question of whether artists can successfully appropriate styles and other artistic content from other cultures is interesting. The aesthetic case against cultural appropriation can often be summed up in a single word. Works produced by cultural appropriation are, in some sense of the word, inauthentic.

Picasso, Ravel, and Beiderbecke were great artists and less talented and innovative artists will perform much cultural appropriation. A little reflection is sufficient to show that the cultural experience argument is unable even to show that non-innovative content appropriation will necessarily suffer from observable aesthetic flaws. Very little evidence exists for the claim that mastery of an artistic style is linked to membership in a culture but vast amounts of evidence can be marshaled in support of the opposite claim.

Elgin had a permit from the Turkish governor, but many people say that he was not competent to grant permission. They claim that the rightful owner was Greek culture. Let us consider this claim. The trouble is that the Marbles were not originally the property of Greek culture. The Parthenon was an Athenian civic building. Ancient Athenians would have rejected out of hand the proposition that Greek culture as a whole had a claim on the temple or its friezes. Nevertheless, one hears the suggestion that the Marbles now belong to Greek culture and they were wrongfully appropriated.

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