David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2):167-183 (2004)
I argue that clarity about essence provides the tools both to isolate a distinct concept of art and to see why anti-essentialism is a plausible, though incomplete, doctrine about it. While this concept is not the only concept currently expressed by our word ‘art’, it is an interesting, and might be an important, one. One of the challenges it poses to conceptual analysis is to explain what it is to be better than being good of a thing's kind, where this extra-goodness is neither a trivial fact nor simply a matter of being a good instance of two different kinds of thing. While anti-essentialism seems to be right about what types of analysis will not work for it, this result only deepens the question of what its proper analysis is.
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Stephen Davies (2006). Aesthetic Judgements, Artworks and Functional Beauty. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):224-241.
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