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Practice-centered pluralism and a disjunctive theory of art

Hazelwood, Caleb (2021) Practice-centered pluralism and a disjunctive theory of art. British Journal of Aesthetics.

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that ‘art’, though an open concept, is not undefinable. I propose a particular kind of definition, a disjunctive definition, which comprises extant theories of art. I co-opt arguments from the philosophy of science, likening the concept ‘art’ to the concept ‘species’, to argue that we ought to be theoretical pluralists about art. That is, there are a number of legitimate, perhaps incompatible, criteria for a theory of art. In this paper, I consider three: functionalist definitions, procedural definitions, and an intentional-historical definition. The motivation for this pluralism
comes from an analysis of practice, because the term is of apparent value to practitioners. However, a closer analysis of the concept reveals that, while disjunctive definitions help us to understand how we use certain terms (in other words, their pragmatic value), they lack ontological import. In sum, I attempt to glean lessons from the philosophy of science about the philosophy of art. If my analysis
is correct, we ought to be eliminative pluralists about art as a concept.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Hazelwood, Calebcaleb.hazelwood@gmail.com0000-0002-7421-3581
Keywords: pluralism aesthetics practice turn metaphysics of science metaphysics of art
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Caleb Hazelwood
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2023 15:17
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2023 15:17
Item ID: 21693
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Aesthetics
Publisher: OUP
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Natural Kinds
General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21693

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