The Philosophy of Art: The Question of Definition: From Hegel to Post-Dantian Theories (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy)
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Drawing on the philosophies of art developed by the continental authors and studies of Anglo-American philosophers, this book presents a panorama of the philosophy of art. It discusses definitions offered from the analytical school including Arthur Danto's representationalism, Dipert's theories of artefactualism, Dickie's institutional and procedural theories and Levinson's historical and cultural theories. From the continental theories it reflects on Hegel's notion of philosophy of art, Martin Heidegger's and Hans Georg Gadamer's hermeneutic tradition and Alexius Meinong's theory of objects.
This range of definitions and theories are judged and defended using a form of representationalism that begins with the results of Arthur Danto's thinking and integrates the aesthetic reflection of the Baumgarten School. The result is not only a presentation of philosophy of art from the beginning of the twentieth century to present day, but a study that proposes a theory capable of synthesizing the finest contributions of the analytic and continental traditions.
house.2 For example, the collection of letters is not written in the shape of a house and, yet, 26 The Philosophy of Art: The Question of Definition within the conventional system of the English language, that particular grouping of letters denotes a ‘house’. A similar system of conventional thinking suggests that the pictorial representation of a man who gazes at his own reflection in a watery mirror will recall the sad affair of Narcissus. The theory that we hope to develop is this: the
foremost, mimetic. The difference lies in their respective conclusions: Plato maintains that art is useless and damaging, while Aristotle attributes to it a specific purpose. On these grounds I shall treat the Platonic-Aristotelian theory (which I will define ‘duplicative’ or, even, ‘imitative’ as it considers art by the same standard as it does a duplication mechanism in reality) as a single position, which prefigures the representational or neo-representational theories. Yet, as we shall see,
view of a purpose. In this case, the agent has acted knowingly in order that other subjects, in different places and times, might recognize the properties that have been modified, identifying them as properties that characterize the purposes of the artefact. It is, ultimately, the same difference between a chair and a tree stump that a mushroom picker uses to sit on: the chair immediately recalls the possibility of sitting down because this was the explicit intention of whoever built it; the tree
literary bestsellers, the fact remains that the basic reference point is that of recreation, which is altogether different from the world of intentional treaties, driver’s licenses, checks, supermarket receipts and parking tickets. Art works [. . .] are inscriptions of acts that have no practical purpose and, at the same time, they are material objects that have no instrumental value. (Ferraris, 2009, Eng. trans., 272) In short, while documents are power reserves, works of art are designated for
not about art, about artworks, nor the world of art, but rather about things. The question must be resolved by first considering the materiality of the artwork. Given that the artwork is a material object (in other words, a ‘thing’), a good starting point would be to clarify the concept of ‘thing’ in order to then define the concept of ‘artwork’, which it will likely depend on. In this case, once again, the method is genetic: to retrace traditional doctrines regarding an entity or a thing and to