Repeatable Artwork Sentences and Generics

Shieva Kleinschmidt and Jacob Ross

in Art and Abstract Objects

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199691494
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746277 | DOI:
Repeatable Artwork Sentences and Generics

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Statements about repeatable artworks, such as ‘the Moonlight Sonata consists of three parts’, are similar to generic statements, such as ‘the giant panda eats bamboo’. The former pass tests taken as indicative of generic statements. In relation to both statements, puzzles arise concerning the reference of their subject phrases. According to ‘referentialist accounts’, the first sentence predicates a property of some entity referred by ‘the Moonlight Sonata’; for the second sentence it predicates a property of some entity referred to by ‘the giant panda’. There are referentialist accounts that disagree with entity referred to by those noun phrases—some refer to abstract entities, others to concrete objects. This chapter argues that these versions face problems regardless of whether applied to artwork terms or standard generic terms. This chapter proposes an alternative non-referentialist account and concludes by raising, and responding to, objections to this alternative account.

Keywords: repeatable art; generics; referentialism; musical works; art ontology; semantics; properties; predication

Chapter.  12426 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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