Pornography, Art, and the Intended Response of the Receiver

David Davies

in Art and Pornography

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609581
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746260 | DOI:
Pornography, Art, and the Intended Response of the Receiver

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According to this chapter, both the nature of art and the nature of pornography can be usefully elucidated in terms of the kind of regard or response intended by the maker of an artefact. In this sense, both art and pornography are ‘in the intended response’ of the receiver. But although the kinds of response demanded by art and pornography differ, this is no obstacle to something's being both art and pornography in a sense that justifies the label ‘pornographic art’. It is, this chapter argues, no more difficult to see how there can be pornographic art than it is to see how there can be religious art, or political art, or indeed art that has any non-artistic primary intended function. In all such cases what makes something art is both the kind of response solicited and the manner in which that response bears upon the content of the work. Given this way of determining when we are dealing with art, we can further classify artworks in terms of those non-artistic purposes that they are intended to serve in virtue of those qualities that make them artworks in the first place.

Keywords: religious art; artistic purpose; Levinson; artistic regard; intended response

Chapter.  8740 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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