Nobody Needs a Theory of Art

Journal of Philosophy 105 (3):109-127 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The question "what is art?" is often said to be venerable and vexing. In fact, the following answer to the question should be obvious: (R) item x is a work of art if and only if x is a work in practice P and P is one of the arts. Yet (R) has appeared so far from obvious that nobody has given it a moment's thought. The trouble is not that anyone might seriously deny the truth of (R), but rather that they will find it uninformative. After all, the vexing question is pressed upon us by radical changes in art of the avant-garde, and (R) offers no resources to address these changes. With that in mind, here is the case for (R). The challenges posed by the avant-garde are real enough and they need to be addressed, but the vexing question is the wrong question to ask to address them. It does not follow that the question has no good answer. On the contrary, (R) is all the answer we need, if we do not need an answer that addresses the challenges posed by the avant-garde. Moreover, (R) points to a question that we do need answered. So, not only is it true but, in addition, (R) is as informative as we need.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,623

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

I don't want to be a burden.Selena R. Ewing - 2011 - Bioethics Research Notes 23 (3):40.
Volume 23 Issue 3 - 'I don't want to be a burden'.Selena R. Ewing - 2011 - Bioethics Research Notes 23 (3):40-.
Why We Need a Theory of Art.Annelies Monseré - 2016 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 53 (2):165-183.
Privacy, Control, and Talk of Rights: R. G. FREY.R. G. Frey - 2000 - Social Philosophy and Policy 17 (2):45-67.
What Need is There for an Environmental Aesthetics?Karsten Harries - 2011 - Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 22 (40-41).
J. R. tolkien and fairy tale truth.Mary Sirridge - 1975 - British Journal of Aesthetics 15 (1):81-92.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
195 (#105,953)

6 months
34 (#119,615)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Dominic McIver Lopes
University of British Columbia

Citations of this work

The definition of art.Thomas Adajian - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What Makes a Kind an Art-kind?Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (4):471-88.
Margaret Macdonald on the Definition of Art.Daniel Whiting - 2022 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 30 (6):1074-1095.
Does Art Pluralism Lead to Eliminativism?P. D. Magnus & Christy Mag Uidhir - 2024 - Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):73-80.
Practice-Centered Pluralism and a Disjunctive Theory of Art.Caleb Hazelwood - 2021 - British Journal of Aesthetics 61 (2):213-227.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references