Does Art Pluralism Lead to Eliminativism?

Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 61 (1):73-80 (2024)
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A critical note on Christopher Bartel and Jack M. C. Kwong, ‘Pluralism, Eliminativism, and the Definition of Art’, Estetika 58 (2021): 100–113. Art pluralism is the view that there is no single, correct account of what art is. Instead, art is understood through a plurality of art concepts and with considerations that are different for particular arts. Although avowed pluralists have retained the word ‘art’ in their discussions, it is natural to ask whether the considerations that motivate pluralism should lead us to abandon art talk altogether; that is, should pluralism lead to eliminativism? This paper addresses arguments both for and against this move. We ultimately argue that pluralism allows one to retain the word ‘art’, if one wants it, but only in a loose, conversational sense. The upshot of pluralism is that talk of art in general cannot be asked to do theoretical and philosophical work.

Author Profiles

P. D. Magnus
State University of New York, Albany
Christy Mag Uidhir
University of Houston


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