On Davies' argument from relational properties

Acta Analytica 20 (4):24-31 (2005)
Abstract
In Art as Performance , David Davies identifies certain properties relevant to artistic appreciation of artworks that, he suggests, are naturally construed as belonging to the artist’s creative performance rather than to any product of that performance (the “work-product”). He further argues, against an anticipated opponent, that such properties cannot be excluded as irrelevant to artistic appreciation in any principled way. I argue that the cited properties can be intelligibly construed as properties of the associated work-product, whether or not they are relevant to artistic appreciation; but that some are not relevant to artistic appreciation. In doing so, I offer a principle determining when a property of an artwork is relevant to artistic appreciation. I conclude that, on its own, Davies’s argument offers no good grounds to abandon our practice of thinking of the artwork as the product of an artist’s activity, rather than the activity itself.
Keywords art  performance  David Davies  ontology  contextualism
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