Berlin, Germany

Sculpture and Philosophy

Language: English Studies in English
Subject area: arts
University website:
Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570–495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded, or cast.
In sculpture did ever anybody call the Apollo a fancy piece? Or say of the Laocoön how it might be made different? A masterpiece of art has in the mind a fixed place in the chain of being, as much as a plant or a crystal.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, Art.
Ex quovis ligno non fit Mercurius.
A Mercury is not made out of any block of wood.
That stone,
Philosophers in vain so long have sought.
John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book III, line 600. Reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 596-97.
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