British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (4):407-423 (2013)

Simon Evnine
University of Miami
I explore the interrelations between the ontological and aesthetic issues raised by ready-mades such as Duchamp’s Fountain. I outline a hylomorphic metaphysics which has two central features. First, hylomorphically complex objects have matter to which they are not identical. Secondly, when such objects are artefacts (including artworks), it is essential to them that they are the products of creative work on their matter. Against this background, I suggest that ready-mades are of aesthetic interest because they pose a dilemma. Is there really an object, a sculpture, that is distinct from its matter, a urinal, which object is created merely by the artist’s choice of the urinal? Or are we dealing with a case in which an artist passes off something, a urinal, as if it were a sculpture, even though it is not one?
Keywords Duchamp  Ready-mades  Ontology  Hylomorphism  Aesthetics
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DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayt033
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References found in this work BETA

The Statue and the Clay.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1998 - Noûs 32 (2):149-173.
What a Musical Work Is.Jerrold Levinson - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (1):5-28.
On Perceiving Conceptual Art.Peter Lamarque - 2007 - In Peter Goldie & Elisabeth Schellekens (eds.), Philosophy and Conceptual Art. Oxford University Press.
Creativity and Conceptual Art.Margaret Boden - 2007 - In Peter Goldie & Elisabeth Schellekens (eds.), Philosophy and Conceptual Art. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

What Do the Folk Think About Composition and Does It Matter?Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 187-206.
Can Unmodified Food Be Culinary Art?Sara Bernstein - 2020 - Argumenta 2 (5):185-198.
Appropriation Art, Fair Use, and Metalinguistic Negotiation.Elizabeth Cantalamessa - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (2):115-129.

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