Art: What it Is and Why it Matters

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
In this paper, I provide a descriptive definition of art that is able to accommodate the existence of bad art, while illuminating the value of good art. This, I argue, is something that existing definitions of art fail to do. I approach this task by providing an account according to which what makes something an artwork is the institutional process by which it is made. I argue that Searle’s account of institutions and institutional facts shows that the existence of all institutions is due to their being perceived by their participants to perform some humanly valuable function. I then identify the functions to which the existence of art institutions is due. I then use these functions to provide a reductive institutional definition of art. Finally, in section seven, I examine the account’s consequences for the value of good art.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-05-17
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Languages of Art.Goodman, Nelson
Languages of Art.Goodman, Nelson

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Between Philosophy and Art.McMahon, Jennifer A.; Coleman, Elizabeth B.; Macarthur, David; Phillips, James & von Sturmer, Daniel

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
482 ( #8,571 of 50,231 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
83 ( #6,202 of 50,231 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.