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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2017

Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Art-Philosophy So Boring and Art-Criticism So Different, So Much More Appealing

From the book Aesthetics Today
Karlheinz Lüdeking


This paper has two aims. First, it tries to justify the claim (already presupposed by the title) that today’s art-philosophy is boring because it has nothing useful to say about the problem of distinguishing artworks from other things. For more than sixty years we have witnessed that only two strategies have been used to cope with that problem: 1) the traditional attempt to give a definition of the concept of art and 2) the comparatively new endeavor to show how the concept can be applied without fixed criteria. Both strategies have constantly failed. Therefore, the second purpose of the paper is to outline a third possibility to determine the members of the class of artworks. It no longer presupposes that this can only be attained as a result of mental acts. It rather considers the constitution of the class of artworks as an outcome of a social process that involves countless individual acts of inclusion and exclusion.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston