An Institutional Theory of Art Categories

Debates in Aesthetics 18 (1):31-43 (2022)
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It is widely acknowledged that categories play significant roles in the appreciation of artworks. This paper argues that the correct categories of artworks are institutionally established through social processes. Section 1 examines the candidates for determining correct categories and proposes that this question should shift the focus from category membership to appreciative behaviour associated with categories. Section 2 draws on Francesco Guala’s theory of institutions to show that categories of artworks are established as rules-in-equilibrium. Section 3 reviews the explanatory benefits of this institutional theory of the correct category. [Winner of the 2022 Debates in Aesthetics Essay Prize]



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Kiyohiro Sen
Sagami Women's University

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References found in this work

Categories of Art.Kendall L. Walton - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (3):334-367.
Fiction: A Philosophical Analysis.Catharine Abell - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
The pleasures of aesthetics: philosophical essays.Jerrold Levinson - 1996 - Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
What Makes a Kind an Art-kind?Michel-Antoine Xhignesse - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (4):471-88.

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