what is the difference between art & aesthetics?

Great question. 'Aesthetics' is usually used as a term to refer to two things: a field of inquiry and a type of experience. The field of aesthetics covers the philosophy of beauty and the philosophy of art. In the philosophy of art you cover questions about the very concept of art (what is the difference between art and non-art), the meaning and evaluation of artwork, and more. 'Aesthetics' is also used to refer to experiences that are emotive: an object has aesthetic properties insofar as it is experienced as gloomy, joyful, confused, angry, seductive, and so on. Some people connect art and aesthetics when they claim that an art object, X, is that which has been made with the intention that X be the object of aesthetic experience. There are all kinds of arguments about this.... Someone may object that given such a definition of a work of art, this reply to you is a work of art for I am intending it to be experienced aesthetically (I hope, for example, you find this reply friendly and helpful, rather than irritatingly confused), but, arguably, this reply is not a work of art. I just wrote a book called Aesthetics: A Beginner's Guide (Continuum, 2011) that seeks to sort out such objections. The book actually defends a robust account of beauty and an aesthetics-based definition of what it is to be a work of art. Good wishes, CT

Read another response by Charles Taliaferro
Read another response about Art