On Bringing a Work into Existence

Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:
On Bringing a Work into Existence

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What change is wrought on the world when works (of the kind earlier specified) are brought into existence? The idea of completion is discussed, as is the problem of highly regarded incomplete works. Three suggestions are canvassed: a work comes into existence (a) when the manipulation of an artistic medium is completed; (b) when a certain constituting material (a physical object, an abstract type, etc) acquires intentional and relational properties that previously it did not possess; and (c) when a new kind of entity is created. According to (a), work creation consists only in the reconfiguring of preexisting materials; on (b), work creation consists in the preexisting materials acquiring a new property, specifically a status property (e.g., being a work, being a sculpture); it is only according to (c) that genuine creation occurs, in the sense of a new entity being brought into existence. Reasons are given for preferring (c) over (a) and (b), and further elaboration is offered by way of characterising and defending (c).

Keywords: existence; incomplete works; artistic medium; work creation

Chapter.  9148 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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