Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):437-450 (2019)

Michel-Antoine Xhignesse
Capilano University
Art historians and philosophers often talk about the interpretive significance of titles, but few have bothered with their historical origins. This omission has led to the assumption that an artwork's title is its proper name, since names and titles share the essential function of facilitating reference to their bearers. But a closer look at the development of our titling practices shows a significant point of divergence from standard analyses of proper names: the semantic content of a title is often crucial to the identification, individuation, and interpretation of its associated artwork. This paper represents a first step towards an empirically centred study of our titling practices. I argue that, in order to accept titles as proper names, we must first recognize the social, rather than the referential, function of naming.
Keywords aesthetics  art history  chrematonyms  names  nicknames  philosophy of art  philosophy of language  reflective content  semantic weight  titles
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2018.1488267
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References found in this work BETA

The Invention of Art: A Cultural History.Larry Shiner - 2003 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (4):401-403.
Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures.Michael Baxandall - 1986 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 45 (1):94-95.
Titles, Labels, and Names: A House of Mirrors.Greg Petersen - 2006 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 40 (2):29-44.
Titles.Jerrold Levinson - 1985 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 44 (1):29-39.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Naked ‘Duchess’: Names Are Titles.Roberta Ballarin - 2019 - Linguistics and Philosophy 42 (4):349-379.

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