Demarcation, Definition, Art

In An Anthology of Philosophical Studies - Volume 7. Athens: pp. 177-188 (2013)
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The question of how to demarcate science from pseudo-science commands relatively little attention today. In the philosophy of logic, by contrast, the problem of demarcating the logical constants is less skeptically regarded. In aesthetics, where the problem is how to demarcate art from non-art, the question as to whether the problem is a real one or a pseudo-problem also continues to be debated. This paper discusses the hypothesis that the demarcation questions in these three areas are parallel, or at least similar enough to be interesting. Some arguments for the conclusion that the demarcation problem is a pseudo-problem are considered, as are some demarcation proposals of a deflationist or minimalist sort. All are found wanting.

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Thomas Adajian
James Madison University


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