Philosophical Studies 127 (1):19-35 (2006)

Robert Hopkins
New York University
Two themes run through Wollheim’s work: the importance of history to the practice and appreciation of the arts, and the centrality of experience in appreciation. Prima facie, these are in tension. Reconciling them requires two steps. First, we should follow Wollheim in adopting a notion of experience on which features can be experienced even if we must have experience-independent access to the fact that the work exhibits them. Second, we need to state what makes a particular experience appropriate to the work. What does so? An obvious answer is that the experience reflects the work’s nature. Wollheim toyed with a more ambitious line, one linking the appropriate experience to our abilities to discriminate instances of the property appreciated. He allowed that having the right experience might require knowledge of the work, and thus that that experience need not be born of the ability to discriminate the property appreciated. But he seems to have held that the appropriate experience must engender that ability, at least against the background of those actual items that might be confused with instances of the property. I argue that Wollheim’s answer is less appealing than the obvious one.
Keywords Wollheim  History of art  Experience of art
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Reprint years 2006
DOI 10.1007/s11098-005-1728-4
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References found in this work BETA

Languages of Art.Nelson Goodman - 1968 - Bobbs-Merrill.
Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
Art and Its Objects.Jeffrey Wieand - 1981 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40 (1):91-93.

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