Kendall Walton's 'categories of art': A critical commentary

British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (3):287-306 (2010)
most famous and, arguably, most important papers in modern aesthetics. Despite this, and the various references to it and discussions of it within the literature, there are no general commentaries on this essay. In addition to outlining a general framework for approaching the article, I identify and explicate the two main exegetical issues regarding it. The first concerns how to understand Walton's main thesis that the aesthetic character of artworks is determined, in part, by their ‘correct category’. I suggest that the traditional interpretation of Walton's proposal is mistaken, and defend an alternative view at length. The second issue concerns the relationship between Walton's view and competing accounts of the aesthetics of artworks. Here I suggest that Walton's position is unique, contrasting the views of both typical formalists, on the one hand, and ordinary contextualists, on the other, in philosophically significant ways. Careful reflection on this particular issue helps reveal some very important distinctions among aesthetic theories, which have not been previously drawn or emphasized. CiteULike Connotea What's this?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/aesthj/ayq017
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,097
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Heavy Metal: Genre? Style? Subculture?Theodore Gracyk - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):775-785.
Mezzo Opaco, Mezzo Trasparente.Pietro Kobau - 2014 - Rivista di Estetica:113-118.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What is Abstract About the Art of Music?Kendall L. Walton - 1988 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46 (3):351-364.
On the Epistemic Value of Photographs.Jonathan Cohen & Aaron Meskin - 2004 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2):197–210.
How Marvelous! Toward a Theory of Aesthetic Value.Kendall L. Walton - 1993 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51 (3):499-510.
Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
Categories and Intentions: A Reply.Kendall L. Walton - 1973 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 32 (2):267-268.
Fiction-Making as a Gricean Illocutionary Type.Manuel Garcia-Carpintero - 2007 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2):203–216.
In Defence of Moderate Aesthetic Formalism.Nick Zangwill - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201):476-493.


Added to PP index

Total views
122 ( #53,833 of 2,313,442 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #66,486 of 2,313,442 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature