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Philosophical Perspectives on Art$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.001.0001

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Functional and Procedural Definitions of Art

Functional and Procedural Definitions of Art

(p.43) 3 Functional and Procedural Definitions of Art
Philosophical Perspectives on Art

Stephen Davies (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores two approaches to the definition of art. Functional definitions usually argue that art has the defining purpose of rewarding an aesthetic interest. Procedural or institutional definitions, by contrast, hold that something is art if and only if it is created within an informal institution, an artworld, with roles or practices allowing suitably placed members to confer the status. Functionalists doubt the art-standing of some avant-garde art, hold that art is an essentially evaluative concept, and insist that an adequate definition must account for art's importance, whereas proceduralists disagree. In their exchanges, the two sides tend to be the question against each other.

Keywords:   definition of art, functional definitions, artworld

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