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Definition Essay - What is Art?

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Definition Essay - What is Art?


There are few questions quite as esoteric or as futilely subjective as the philosopher's "What is…?" Yet posing and answering this question in reference to the identity of art is critical to further discussions of our subject matter in this course. There is no way for us to discuss art until we have a working definition of what art is; we can't adequately use the term until we've defined it. To this end, I would like to submit this as a working definition: "Art is anything created for the purpose of communicating the sensations of emotional response to, or creating emotional response in, those who experience it."

There are three advantages to this sort of a definition for art. The first is that it does not limit us to specific media. Art by this definition can be found acted out on a stage, sent over a computer network, hung on a wall, or typed onto a page. The second is that it does not rely on the reaction of the audience to the art. The artist creates art whether or not his attempt at communication is success...


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