Philosophy and Art (2017)
WHAT is art? Classificatory disputes..
Classificatory disputes about what is art
Art historians and philosophers of art have long had classificatory disputes about art regarding
whether a particular cultural form or piece of work should be classified as art. Disputes about
what does and does not count as art continue to occur today
Defining art is difficult if not impossible. Aestheticians and art philosophers often engage in
disputes about how to define art. By its original and broadest definition, art (from the Latin ars,
meaning “skill” or “craft”) is the product or process of the effective application of a body of
knowledge, most often using a set of skills; this meaning is preserved in such phrases as
“liberal arts” and “martial arts”. However, in the modern use of the word, which rose to
prominence after 1750, “art” is commonly understood to be skill used to produce an
aesthetic result (Hatcher, 1999).