Trust and the appreciation of art

Ratio 35 (2):133-145 (2021)
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Does trust play a significant role in the appreciation of art? If so, how does it operate? We argue that it does, and that the mechanics of trust operate both at a general and a particular level. After outlining the general notion of ‘art-trust’—the notion sketched is consistent with most notions of trust on the market—and considering certain objections to the model proposed, we consider specific examples to show in some detail that the experience of works of art, and the attribution of art-relevant properties or characterisations to works of art, very often involves the notion of trust; in such cases—perhaps most or even, implicitly, all—the question ‘Do I trust the artist (or art-maker)?’, is inescapable.

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