Faculty of Social Sciences

David Davies: "'Neo-Goodmanian Aesthetics’ and the Problem of ‘Fast Art’"

  • Date: 23 May, 19:00–21:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-1077
  • Organiser: The Philosophical Society in Uppsala
  • Contact person: Sebastian Lutz
  • Föreläsning

The Philosophical Society in Uppsala

David Davies, McGill University: "'Neo-Goodmanian Aesthetics’ and the Problem of ‘Fast Art’"


Abstract
For standard ‘aestheticist’ approaches, artworks differ from other artifacts in virtue of their makers’ intention that the artefact they are making be appreciated ‘for its own sake’ in a relevant sense. While artworks may have other intended functions, this has at best an indirect bearing on their status as art. Neo-Goodmanian approaches, on the other hand, begin from fact that a large number of the things we take to be artworks do have an instrumental primary intended function, and many arguably have not been made with the further intention that they be appreciated in the ways that aestheticism requires. For the Neo-Goodmanian, the distinguishing feature of artworks is that they call for a particular kind of regard in virtue of the fact that they articulate the content bearing upon the performance of their primary intended functions in distinctive ways. The problem of ‘Fast Art’, for the Neo-Goodmanian, is that there seem to be things that are clearly artworks but that lack those features taken by the Neo-Goodmanian to be distinctive of art. In answering this challenge, I shall clarify various senses of artistic ‘appreciation’ bearing upon these issues. I shall conclude by relating these different notions of appreciation to standing debates about the elements constitutive of ‘artistic value’. I argue that the Neo-Goodmanian approach provides a distinctive and attractive non-parochial framework for thinking about the value of an artwork qua art, and important insights into the role of artistic experience in the axiology of art.