Acta Analytica 20 (4):41-52 (2005)

Danilo Suster
University of Maribor
Davies argues that the ontology of artworks as performances offers a principled way of explaining work-relativity of modality. Object oriented contextualist ontologies of art (Levinson) cannot adequately address the problem of work-relativity of modal properties because they understand looseness in what counts as the same context as a view that slight differences in the work-constitutive features of provenance are work-relative. I argue that it is more in the spirit of contextualism to understand looseness as context-dependent. This points to the general problem—the context of appreciation is not robust enough to ground modal intuitions about objective entities. In general, when epistemology dictates ontology there is always a threat of anti-realism, scepticism and relativism. Davies also appeals to the modality principle—an entity’s essential properties are all and only its constitutive properties. Davies understands essentiality in a traditional way: a property P is an essential property of an object o iff o could not exist and lack P. Kit Fine has recently made a convincing case for the view that the notion of essence is not to be understood in modal terms. I explore some of the implications of this view for Davies’ modal argument for the performance theory.
Keywords David Davies ,contextualism in art, the modaliity principle, modal argument, essentialism, Kit Fine
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-005-1010-6
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
On The Plurality of Worlds.Graeme Forbes - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (151):222-240.

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Citations of this work BETA

Modality, Individuation, and the Ontology of Art.Carl Matheson & Ben Caplan - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):491-517.
"¿Qué son las obras de arte? Las propuestas de los teóricos de la acción".Elisa Caldarola - 2021 - In Leopoldo La Rubia, Nemesio García Carril Puy & Francisco Larubia Y. Prado (eds.), Teorías contemporáneas del arte y la literatura. Madrid: Tecnos.

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