Indiscernible Properties, Discernible Artworks

Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 1 (3):136-146 (2004)
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Abstract

In this paper I will try to trace a discussion about status of art in some recent theories, which pay special attention to the fact that artworks are the kind of things to which representational, expressive, and aesthetic properties are ascribed. First, I will briefly mention some already established criticisms—developed by Richard Wollheim1—against the idea that artworks cannot be identified with physical objects. These criticisms have the further aim of providing an account of art experience that includes our perceiving representational and expressive properties as well as aesthetic ones in artworks. In Wollheim's view, a misconstruction of the nature of these properties and of our perception of them in artworks has been the main reason for the view he intensely criticizes. Thus, he offers a different understanding of these properties, which also involves a new account of perception that does not require an idealisation of our experience of art.

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