Philosophy Bites on the Definition of Art
I am going through the archives of Philosophy Bites (one of my favourite podcasts) and was quite impressed with the interesting discussion with Derek Matravers on the definition of art. The institutional theory of art is a recent attempt to answer the question “what makes something a work of art?” The answer given by proponents of this theory is that it is whatever the social institution of the artworld deems to be a work of art (and then there is an attempt to define what the art world is and how it decides whether something counts). Matravers argues for an extension of the institutional theory of art (a favourite aesthetic theory of mine) to include a consideration of the reasons for an artefact being put forward as an artwork. This would then expose these reasons to a criticism that is both warranted and important.