History of the Concept of Art

Nowadays when someone speaks of "art" you probably think first of "fine arts" such as painting and sculpture, but before the twentieth century the word was generally used in quite a different sense. Since this older meaning of "art" still survives in many idioms, especially when we are contrasting art with science, I would like to spend the next few minutes talking about art in its classical sense.

In medieval times, the first universities were established to teach the seven so-called "liberal arts," namely grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Note that this is quite different from the curriculum of today's liberal arts colleges, and that at least three of the original seven liberal arts are important components of computer science. At that time, an ";art" meant something devised by man's intellect, as opposed to activities derived from nature or instinct; "liberal" arts were liberated or free, in contrast to manual arts such as plowing (cf. [6]). During the middle ages the word "art" by itself usually meant logic [4], which usu.ally meant the study of syllogisms.

The word "science" seems to have been used for many years in about the same sense as "art"; for example, people spoke also of the seven liberal sciences, which were the same as the seven liberal arts [1]. Duns. Scotus in the thirteenth century called logic "the Science of Sciences, and the Art of Arts" (cf. [12, p. 34f]). As civilization and learning developed, the words took on more and more independent meanings, "scJ,. ence" being used to stand for knowledge, and "art" for the application of know~edge. Thus, the science of astronomy was the basis for the art of navigation. The situation was almost exactly like the way i'n which we now distinguish between ~science" and "engineering."


Folksonomies: science art humanities

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/science/engineering (0.378164)
/science (0.315578)

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computer science:FieldTerminology (0.867925 (positive:0.445738)), Art of Arts:Degree (0.799508 (neutral:0.000000)), Science of Sciences:Organization (0.494401 (neutral:0.000000)), syllogisms:City (0.353361 (neutral:0.000000))

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Middle Ages (0.927531): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Music (0.853768): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Liberal arts (0.833757): dbpedia | freebase
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Liberal arts colleges in the United States (0.729334): dbpedia | yago
Arithmetic (0.701807): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Rhetoric (0.654493): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Trivium (0.621068): dbpedia | freebase
Medieval university (0.607042): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Art (0.578614): dbpedia | freebase
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Grammar (0.556508): dbpedia | freebase
Classical antiquity (0.554818): dbpedia | freebase
Aristotle (0.537197): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Literature (0.519207): dbpedia | freebase
History of education (0.518026): dbpedia | freebase
Linguistics (0.507257): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Quadrivium (0.496993): dbpedia | freebase
Renaissance (0.467186): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Science (0.465171): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 Computer Program as Art
Proceedings of Meetings and Symposia>Speech:  Knuth, Donald (1974), Computer Program as Art, ACM Turing Award Lecture, Retrieved on 2016-12-27
  • Source Material [delivery.acm.org]
  • Folksonomies: programming art