Art Beauty and Creativity,Indian and Western Aesthetics by Shyamala Gupta

Art Beauty and Creativity,Indian and Western Aesthetics

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Art Beauty and Creativity,Indian and Western Aesthetics
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When the 18th century German philosopher, A.G. Baumgarten first introduced 'Aesthetics' as an academic discipline to deal with the philosophy of beauty, he couldn't possibly have anticipated the controversies that have lately been raised by logical positivists, analytical schools, and even linguists - controversies questioning the validity, the very legitimacy, of a philosophical inquiry into beauty, art and creative processes. Notwithstanding the relatively more recent usage of the term proper, Aesthetics has a millennia-long history: beginning, in the West, with the old-world Greek philosophers, like Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle; and, in India, with the Vedic writings, more specifically, Bharata

Dr. Shyamala Gupta's book is indisputably a painstaking effort trying to chart the historical progression of aesthetics: both Indian and Western - with focus not only on its evolutionary landmarks, but on its important concepts and theories as well. Schematically structured into two parts, Part 1 of the book examines the status of Indian Aesthetics: its theories of rasa and dhvani, and, besides these, of its world view of art. In its Part 2 are traced the development of Western theories of art and beauty, together with their attendant issues appearing, from time to time: from the days of ancient Greek philosophers to contemporary thinkers. Additionally, the authoress also tries to show how art is positioned vis-à-vis morality, science, sport and culture.

A Comprehensive, meticulously updated perspective on aesthetics, the book is sure to interest anyone concerned with the disciple: whether as a specialist, a student or a general reader.

About the Author:

Shyamala Gupta (b. August 1931) is Bombay University's Ph.D (Philosophy), with specialised interest in Aesthetics. And has been Research Fellow at the prestigious Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (1966-67). An untiring researcher and writer, she has published numerous papers in different journals and, in addition, has contributed as many as 27 articles to the 3-volume Marathi Encyclopaedia in Philosophy (published by MEP Council, Pune). Also, she has authored two books, namely, The Beautiful in Indian Arts, and Saundarya Tattvamimamasa (Hindi) - both prescribed by Delhi University for undergraduate-level students taking a course in aesthetics.

Involved with the teaching of philosophy for well over three decades, Dr. Gupta retired, in 1996, as Reader from Kamla Nehru College, University of Delhi, Delhi.

Cover photos Utka Nayika(Waiting for her lover); Chamba, circa 1800-10. Courtesy: Jagdish & Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art, Hyderabad.







  1. Indian View About Aesthetics
  2. Theory of Rasa and Dhvani
  3. The Indian View of Art


  1. Introduction
  2. Philosophical Aesthetics
  3. Art and Beauty - The Concepts and their Relation
  4. Work of Art
  5. Form and Content in a Work of Art
  6. Comparison of Arts
  7. Traditional Theories of Art
  8. Some Contemporary Theories of Art
  9. Art and Science
  10. Art and Morality
  11. Art and Sport
  12. Aesthetic Experience
  13. Aesthetic Attitude
  14. Aesthetic Judgement
  15. Epilogue - Art, Civilisation and Culture




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