Is Pornographic Art Comparable to Religious Art? Reply to Davies

Jerrold Levinson

in Art and Pornography

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609581
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746260 | DOI:
Is Pornographic Art Comparable to Religious Art? Reply to Davies

Show Summary Details


The heart of this chapter's reply to the previous chapter's is that the analogy the previous chapter offers between, on the one hand, putative pornographic art and, on the other hand, religious or other art possessing a primary non-aesthetic function, is simply overdrawn, and that the ease of fulfilling an aesthetic and a non-aesthetic function at the same time is significantly overestimated in the former case as compared to the latter case. This chapter also outlines some differences with the previous chapter as to how the concept of regarding something as an artwork is to be understood, emphasizing a divergence between how the concept might function in a definition of art and how it functions in modern criticism and evaluation. This chapter's reply to the previous chapter concludes with a few reasons why we may yet be justified in maintaining a fairly sharp division between art and pornography, despite strong briefs offered to the contrary by Davies, Maes, Kania, and others.

Keywords: aesthetic function; religious art; artistic regard; David Davies; sexual arousal

Chapter.  4069 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.