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Title: On the Nature, Interpretation, and Value of Artworks
Authors: Gillon, Josh
Advisors: Nehamas, Alexander
Contributors: Philosophy Department
Keywords: Aesthetics
Subjects: Aesthetics
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: First, I defend a theory, or rather a class of theories, about the nature of art. Second, I defend a view about the interpretation of art. Regarding the nature of art, I argue that it must be understood in terms of art institutions. According to the view that I defend, a proper subset of artworks, the paradigm artworks, count as artworks in virtue of the relation they stand in to art institutions and art-related practices. Other artworks, those that are not paradigms, count as artworks in virtue of the ways in which they are related to the paradigms. This view of the nature of art, I have argue, allows us to partially account for the fact that art is peculiarly valuable and also allows us to answer skeptical worries about whether there even is such a thing as the nature of art. Regarding art interpretation, I argue that it is of a kind with the interpretation of utterances, facial expressions, body language, and even statistics. When we interpret artworks, we appeal to them in order to gain information that we are interested in having or to answer questions about which we are curious in connection with them. What distinguishes art interpretation from other sorts of interpretation, more than anything else, is the range of questions that we are prepared to appeal to artworks to help us answer. This view of art interpretation also allows us to account, in a small way, for the peculiar value of artworks.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Philosophy

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