Art As A Work Of Art Essay

Art As A Work Of Art Essay

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Similarly, Weitz maintains that artists should always be able to produce something new or different, without the fear that it will not fit under conditions for being a work of art (1956, 32). As a result, individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for being a work of art are problematic for Weitz as he believes they lack inclusiveness to avant-garde works. 20th century avant-grade art renounced definitions of art at that time. Weitz states that any definition of art would continue to be renounced as conditions would not be able to accommodate all art works. To demonstrate this, Carroll uses the example of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ (1999, 211). Several of the earlier definitions of art would have denied that this was a work of art. But as the perception of art changes through time, ‘Fountain’ was given art status. This was only possible by considering art an open concept which can be amended. If it was not considered as such, the artworld’s views on Duchamp’s work would not have changed. From this example, it is evident why art should not be closed by stipulation. It is so the practice of art can be open to change.

One can, however, argue that art should not be seen as an open concept merely because some have incorrectly labelled items ‘art’ when they are not. This can make a point to restrict, not expand, the concept of art. Like Weitz, Kamber (1998, 41) considers art as an open concept to allow the definition to expand even if non-artworks are incorrectly labelled as such. His thinking is that the concept of art does not require a definition so long as it is open to the possibility of change; it does not necessarily have to change. But humans can and do change their minds and actions. It would be unfair to not allow art...


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...fficient conditions for being a work of art, therefore cannot be given. Family resemblances also do not appeal to a definition of art. It argues that humans do not even have an implicit definition of art and that we merely identify a work of art by noting resemblances to artworks that have been established as such (Simon 1969, 409). As a result, there are no individually necessary or jointly sufficient for being a work of art.

In conclusion, it is not possible to provide individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for being a work of art. This is largely due to art being an open concept that cannot be defined. If a concept cannot be defined, then one is unable to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for it. This is established by the idea of limitations placed on art, avant-garde works and how family resemblances are used in identifying artworks.

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