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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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Non‐Western Art and Art's Definition

Non‐Western Art and Art's Definition

Chapter:
(p.51) 4 Non‐Western Art and Art's Definition
Source:
Philosophical Perspectives on Art
Author(s):

Stephen Davies (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.003.0005

Without much discussion, most philosophers of art have confined their attention to Western fine art. There is good reason, however, to think that art is pan-cultural and ancient, and frequently encountered claims — for instance that non-Western cultures lack the concepts needed to make art — are unconvincing. Theories that define art recursively in terms of some relation between present art and past art, implicitly make art-status relative to an artworld or art tradition, because it is only against such a background that the relation is achieved. As a result, such definitions are at best incomplete, because no account is offered of what makes an artworld an ARTworld.

Keywords:   Western fine art, definitions, non-Western cultures, artworld, art tradition

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