Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter lays out the parameters of the debates to come. It draws a preliminary distinction between a ‘work’ and the ‘object’ (broadly conceived) that underlies it. Objects in this sense, but not works, are fully characterisable through descriptions in the natural sciences. In a discussion of methodology, it is argued that the ultimate constraints on the ontology of art must be the common practices of those who engage with art. The idea of pairs of objects indiscernible to the eye but only one of which is a work of art is introduced through reflection on Arthur Danto's original examples. Similar examples from Immanuel Kant are used to show how important are questions about experiential responses to indiscernibles. Some characteristics of aesthetic properties are examined, partially in relation to the views of Jerrold Levinson. Finally a debate is outlined between two kinds of interpretation: a ‘revelatory’ or truth-seeking kind and a ‘creative’ kind.

Keywords: objects; methodology; ontology; Danto; Kant; indiscernibles; Levinson; interpretation

Chapter.  12454 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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