The enigmatic female figure in minerva protects pax from mars by paul rubens

Part II What is representation? But let me make two remarks on behalf of this procedure. Ordinarily we might pay no attention to them at all, or avert our glance out of a sense of politeness. What is a law? This is likely to be especially true if your background is in the empirical sciences.

And even today, some people will say that a certain film is not art because it lacks a story—that is, because it is not an imitation of action.

They are not about beauty; they are beautiful. This provides a reason to return to the suggestion, first broached by the NeoWittgensteinians, that perhaps the method we employ for identifying artworks is not an essential definition, but something else.

Some abstract paintings are essentially formal exercises representing nothing, and there are even songs and poems like this.

Of course, like many academic disciplines, philosophy can be approached in a number of different ways. For if x stands for y, x is about something, but there are more ways for x to be about something than standing for it. The concept of a person, for example, is central to myriad practices, including politics, morality, the law, and so on.

Undoubtedly they did not think that these activities were the only ones that involved imitation; Aristotle talks about the way in which children imitate their elders.

Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols

But all this empirical research rests on an assumption—namely that the sociologist knows how to apply the concept of art. Painting, poetry, dance, music, drama and sculpture came to be regarded as the fine arts— the arts with a capital A.

The representational theory of art may provide the means for incorporating much literature under the rubric of art, but it still leaves much architecture of the sort we are apt to regard as art outside the category.

In fact, the title of this book could be accurately expanded as the Analytic Philosophy of Art: This is why students sometimes find analytic philosophy so exasperating.

Because the latter are not artworks and, therefore, are not about anything. Due to the initial success of this theory, it was repeated in the Western tradition for centuries. Unfortunately, a number of the theories canvassed herein are inadvertently commendatory theories rather than classificatory in nature.

Ultimately, though a great deal of the technique displayed in this book is critical, the aim of the book is to enable you to construct your own approaches to and theories of the concepts of art, representation, expression, artistic form, aesthetics, and many others.

The conclusion of a logically valid argument is only guaranteed to be true if the premises of the argument are true. Though by this point in history, many philosophers would argue that this is not all that analytic philosophy does, for purposes of introducing the topic, it is fair to say that this is what many analytic philosophers have attempted to do in the past and what many, at least part of the time, continue to do today.

Does it truly have a subject, sadness, about which it expresses something? A social scientist relying on a poll like this would miscount all the artworks in Paris in ; he would overlook too many paintings by Mondrian, Malevich, Kandinsky and others.

However, it is important to keep in mind that it is through criticism that knowledge and understanding are advanced. Is music really imitative? Calling an object an artwork involves determining that it meets the criteria or conditions required for membership in the category.

The philosopher is not interested in establishing what most people believe is art, though this is a worthwhile thing to know, and we should be grateful for any information that the social scientist can provide on this subject.


Taking note of what one theory has overlooked or neglected makes you aware of what should not be overlooked or neglected the next time around. The nature of our questions will determine the best method of research. What arguments can be brought forward on behalf of these different options?

Art is a recurring form of human practice. Because analytic philosophy is so different from empirical research, many entering students distrust it or are puzzled by it.

But if anything calls for an interpretation, then surely it must be about something—it must say something, have a meaning or possess semantic content.

In addition to supplying information, the book also attempts to be an introduction to the techniques of analytic philosophy. But the representational theory of art is not only refuted by modern examples. For Plato and Aristotle, to be an artwork requires that the piece in question be an imitation of something.Sophie Sparks is quite the flirt in her short skirt and sexy black thigh high stockings.

She loves to show off her long legs and gives some naughty peeks at her panties when she pulls up her skirt.

Philosophy of Art

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The enigmatic female figure in minerva protects pax from mars by paul rubens
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