Reflections on the Metaphysics of Sculpture

Hud Hudson

in Art and Abstract Objects

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199691494
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746277 | DOI:
Reflections on the Metaphysics of Sculpture

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Popular thoughts concerning what is distinctive of and perhaps even constitutive of sculpture have been significantly over-influenced by reflecting on our best-known masterpieces, and one fears that one suffers from a tendency to mistake accidental characteristics of familiar pieces for essential characteristics of sculpture in general. This chapter will defend examples designed to challenge the commonsense theses that sculpture must be three-dimensional, or solid, or available to visual or tactile assessment, or in interaction with an ambient space. Finally, it will investigate a pair of intriguing features, the first manifested by sculptures carved from a single block of marble such as Michelangelo’s Pieta and the second manifested by sculptures related to multiple castings such as Rodin’s The Thinker. Finally, it offers some concluding remarks on the lessons of these investigations for the ontology of sculpture in particular and for the subfield of art ontology in general.

Keywords: sculpture; metaphysics; art ontology; three-dimensional; statue; aesthetics

Chapter.  7608 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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