Dickie_Art_as_A_Social - George Dickie "Art As a...

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George Dickie “Art As a Social Institution” [from Aesthetics: An Introduction 1971] Missing Material from the Weitz selection in our text. This material is referred to by Dickie. “None of the criteria of recognition is a defining one, either necessary or sufficient, because we can sometimes assert of something that it is a work of art and go on to deny any one of these conditions, even the one which has traditionally been taken to be basic, namely, that of being an artifact: Consider, “This piece of driftwood is a lovely piece of sculpture.” Thus to say of something that it is a work of art is to commit oneself to the presence of some of these conditions. One would scarcely describe X as a work of art if X were not an artifact, or a collection of elements sensuously presented in a medium, or a product of human skill, and so on. If none of the conditions were present, if there were no criteria present for recognizing something as a work of art, we would not describe it as one. But, even so, no one of these or any collection of them is either necessary or sufficient.” pg. 178 Morris Weitz. Problems in Aesthetics 2 nd Edition (The MacMillan Company, 1970) [then comes the paragraph that begins on page 488 our text “The elucidation…] 1) Weitz is wrong that “art” cannot be defined. a) Some subconcepts of art, e.g. tragedy, might lack necessary conditions. b) But, vs. Weitz, artifactuality is a necessary condition for art. c) Weitz thinks that there are some works of art that are not artifacts. d) Weitz fails to distinguish the evaluative and classificatory senses of "work of art." e) The evaluative sense is used to praise an object: "this driftwood is a work of art.” f) One does not usually say "this is a work of art" in a classificatory sense. g) An example however is "Do you know that you are walking on a work of art?" said of a [Carl Andre] sculpture. h)
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Dickie_Art_as_A_Social - George Dickie "Art As a...

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