Artworks versus designs

British Journal of Aesthetics 41 (2):162-177 (2001)
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Abstract
I propose a distinction between design intentions, activities and products, as opposed to artistic intentions, activities and artworks. Examples of design products would include a specific type of car (or any other invention or device) as well as closer relatives of art such as decorative wall designs. In order to distinguish artistic from design intentions, I present an example in which two sculptors independently work on a single object to produce two sculptures, which are distinct just because the artistic intentions of the sculptors are distinct. This case is then contrasted with an attempted parallel example for design intentions, which fails to produce two correspondingly distinct design products in spite of the different design intentions of its designers. I argue that this failure occurs because designs are types, for which any single token of a given type could not simultaneously be a token of some other type of the same general kind; whereas the possibility of my sculptural 'double artwork' example shows that such artworks cannot be types. I then further investigate the concept of a design, and conclude by arguing that an extension of my sculptural example shows that literary artworks also cannot be types.
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