Article

Art and Knowledge

James O. Young

in Philosophy


Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780195396577 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0198

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A long-standing debate in philosophy of art concerns the question of whether art is a source of knowledge. The debate can be traced back to Plato 1941 and Aristotle 1987 (cited under Historical Contributions). Some philosophers have maintained that artworks are valuable solely as a source of pleasure or pleasing emotions. These philosophers include formalists, who believe that audience members value the experience of artistic form as a source of intellectual pleasure or aesthetic emotion. Other philosophers have maintained that works of art have content, and that audience members can acquire knowledge by experiencing (viewing, hearing, or reading) these works. Philosophers who believe that a work of art can be a source of knowledge differ about the ways in which art makes knowledge possible. In this article, those who defend the view that art is a source of knowledge will be called cognitivists. Those who maintain that art is not a source of knowledge, or not a significant source of knowledge, will be called anticognitivists.

Article.  6142 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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