Patrick Grafton-Cardwell
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
There are a number of recent discussions on the question of when an artwork is complete. While it has been observed that a work might be complete in one way and not in another, the impact of this observation has been minimal. Discussion has been continued as if there is only one real sense of completion that matters. I argue that this is a mistake. Even if there were only one (or one most important) kind of completion, extant theories of completion would be bad candidates for that one kind. The best explanation of the failure of extant theories is that there are many kinds of completion, many corresponding senses of “completion,” and no kind of artwork completion is objectively more important than any other. We have a good reason to think that this is the case given the disparate interests we have when we ask completion questions. Once we have realized that those concerns track properties that are often unrelated, the question for theorists to answer becomes, “In how many ways can an artwork be complete?”
Keywords Art  Completion
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DOI 10.1111/jaac.12715
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References found in this work BETA

The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.Amie L. Thomasson - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3):221–229.
Art and Intention.Paisley Nathan Livingston - 2005 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 68 (2):414-415.
The Complete Work.Kelly Trogdon & Paisley Nathan Livingston - 2014 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3):225-233.

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