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Artworld Metaphysics$
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Robert Kraut

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228126

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228126.001.0001

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Interpretation and the Ontology of Art

Interpretation and the Ontology of Art

(p.98) 5 Interpretation and the Ontology of Art
Artworld Metaphysics

Robert Kraut (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

We can learn something about the ontology of art—and what we are doing when we ponder the ontology of art—by reflecting upon a parallel problem in the philosophy of mathematics. We wish to know what Duane Hanson's realist sculpture ”House Painter” is: what aesthetic features it does and does not possess; analogously, we wish to know what the number seven is: what mathematical properties it does and does not possess. Against this backdrop, artworld individuative puzzles emerge in a fascinating light, prompting questions about what sort of explanation an ontology of artworks should provide, and how to adjudicate among competing ontologies.

Keywords:   audience, interpretation, explanation, individuation, mathematics, ontology

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