7 Ways of Thinking About Art

7 Ways of Thinking About Art

Aesthetics: Contemporary Theories Aims of the Course To provide an introduction to Contemporary Aesthetics To discuss a range of topics that are relevant to the judgment and

appreciation of art To think about a range of topics in relation to works in Tate Modern Further Information See www.artandallusion.com My email: [email protected]

Week by Week 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

Against Definition The Institutional Theory Identifying Art (change!) Aesthetic Concepts Artists Intentions Style and Personality Traditional Aesthetic

Theories Define art Give its essence Spell this out in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions WEITZ Focus not on What is Art?

But on What sort of concept is Art? Necessary Conditions = pre-requisites E.g. necessary condition of being a fox that a mammal E.g. necessary condition of being a

student that you are studying something Sufficient Conditions = guarantees E.g. sufficient condition of being a student that you are studying at Oxford University

E.g. sufficient condition of being on this course, that you have a ticket. Art and Nec. And Suff. Conditions According to Clive Bell a work of art is 1) An Artifact (necessary but not

sufficient) 2) Has Significant Form (necessary and sufficient) Weitz on the attempt to define art. a logically vain attempt to define what cannot be defined (p.411).

= treating art as a closed concept when it is an open one Open Concepts Derived from Ludwig Wittgenstein on games in Philosophical Investigations No common essence of game

Open concepts require a decision with new cases; closed, can state nec. and suff. conditions Sub-concepts of Art E.g. is this work a sculpture? Answer isnt given by reference to nec. and suff. conditions but by

decision of whether or not to extend concept of art to cover it. Summary (p.413) the very expansive, adventurous character of art, its ever present changes and novel creations, makes it logically impossible to ensure any

set of defining properties. Can close the concept BUT What is Weitzs evidence? 1) Past failures of definitions 2) Plausibility of family resemblance notion.

Does it follow that it is logically impossible?

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