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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

Chapter:
(p.98) 5 Interpretation and the Ontology of Art
Source:
Artworld Metaphysics
Author(s):

Robert Kraut (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228126.003.0005

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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