Art: What it Is and Why it Matters

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Abstract
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.
ISBN(s)
0031-8205
PhilPapers/Archive ID
ABEAWI
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-05-17
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References found in this work BETA
Languages of Art.Goodman, Nelson
Languages of Art.Goodman, Nelson

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

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Added to PP index
2011-07-23

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