Conceptual art is not what it seems
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Peter Goldie & Elisabeth Schellekens (eds.), Philosophy and Conceptual Art. Oxford University Press (2007)
Hypotheses in aesthetics should explain appreciative failure as well as appreciative success. They should state the general conditions under which people fail to understand and value works as works of art. This stricture is all the more important when the typical response to conceptual art is one of resistance. Some philosophers explain this by claiming that conceptual art violates traditional theories of art. Others say that it violates folk ontologies of art. In fact, the appreciative failure to which conceptual art is prone is a consequence of the fact that it is not visual art, as it appears to be; rather it is an entirely new art form. Works in new art forms pose special challenges to appreciation. Identifying these challenges enriches theorizing about art.
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