Artistic Visions and the Promise of Beauty

Cross-Cultural Perspectives

  • Kathleen M. Higgins
  • Shakti Maira
  • Sonia Sikka

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Kathleen M. Higgins, Shakti Maira, Sonia Sikka
    Pages 1-11
  3. What Happened to Beauty?

  4. Judging Beautiful Bodies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Alka Pande
      Pages 91-101
  5. Beauty, Virtue and Happiness

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 123-123
    2. David E. Cooper
      Pages 125-137
    3. Kathleen M. Higgins
      Pages 151-165
    4. Sonia Sikka
      Pages 167-183
  6. Beauty and the Self

  7. Beauty as Daily Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 217-217
    2. Stephen Davies
      Pages 225-236

About this book


This volume examines the motives behind rejections of beauty often found within contemporary art practice, where much critically acclaimed art is deliberately ugly and alienating. It reflects on the nature and value of beauty, asking whether beauty still has a future in art and what role it can play in our lives generally. The volume discusses the possible “end of art,” what art is, and the relation between art and beauty beyond their historically Western horizons to include perspectives from Asia. 

The individual chapters address a number of interrelated issues, including: art, beauty and the sacred; beauty as a source of joy and consolation; beauty as a bridge between the natural and the human; beauty and the human form; the role of curatorial practice in defining art; order and creativity; and the distinction between art and craft. The volume offers a valuable addition to cross-cultural dialogue and, in particular, to the sparse literature on art and beauty in comparative context. It demonstrates the relevance of the rich tradition of Asian aesthetics and the vibrant practices of contemporary art in Asia to Western discussions about the future of art and the role of beauty. 


Aestetic in art Art and craft Beauty in art Chinese aesthetics Comparative aesthetics End of art Future of art Indian aesthetics Japanese aesthetics Promise of beauty

Editors and affiliations

  • Kathleen M. Higgins
    • 1
  • Shakti Maira
    • 2
  • Sonia Sikka
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Artist & Independent ScholarNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

Bibliographic information