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The "what is art?" question

The “what is art?” question has a long history and a number of viable responses. It's not the sophomoric dead-end topic some might think it is. Those interested would do well to survey some of the theories of art that have been well developed.

(Shamelessly abbreviated and lifted from Carrol, Noel. (1999) Philosophy of Art, London, Routledge)

  • Art as Representation
  • Art as Expression
  • Art as (Significant) Form
  • Art as Aesthetic Experience
  • Art as Open Concept and Family Resemblance (AKA Neo-Wittgensteinianism)
  • Art as Institution
  • Art as Historical Definition

Second, some confusion is being created by overloading the word “art.” “Art” can refer to physical objects, performances, and so on. “Art” can also refer to a field of exploration. It would be useful to differentiate between the field of “art” (the second meaning), and “works of art” (the first meaning).

–philip galanter


what_is_art.txt · Last modified: 2008/05/24 09:38 by nik