What 4′33″ Is

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):629-641 (2018)
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ABSTRACTWhat is John Cage's 4′33″? This paper disambiguates this question into three sub-questions concerning, respectively, the work's ontological nature, the art form to which it belongs, and the genre it is in. We shall see that the work's performances consist of silence, that it is a work of performance art, and that it belongs to the genre of conceptual art. Seeing the work in these ways helps us to understand it better, and promises to assuage somewhat the puzzlement and irritation of those who are at first resistant to its charms.



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Julian Dodd
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

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The Aesthetic Engagement Theory of Art.Patrick Grafton-Cardwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:243-268.
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References found in this work

II—Genre, Interpretation and Evaluation.Catharine Abell - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):25-40.
Silent Music.Andrew Kania - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (4):343-353.
On Defining Music.Stephen Davies - 2012 - The Monist 95 (4):535-555.
Hearing silence: The perception and introspection of absences.Roy Sorenson - 2009 - In Matthew Nudds & Casey O'Callaghan (eds.), Sounds and Perception. Oxford University Press.

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