The Cluster Account of Art: A Historical Dilemma

Contemporary Aesthetics 12:N/A (2014)
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Abstract

The cluster account, one of the best attempts at art classification, is guilty of ahistoricism. While cluster theorists may be happy to limit themselves to accounting for what art is now rather than how the term was understood in the past, they cannot ignore the fact that people seem to apply different clusters when judging art from different times. This paper shows that while allowing for this kind of historical relativity may be necessary to save the account, doing so could result in incorporating an essentially institutional component or making the theory extremely complex and virtually impossible to use.

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