Current status of anti-essentialist theories

What is art? What is beauty?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
zefan13
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:28 am

Current status of anti-essentialist theories

Post by zefan13 »

Does anyone here adhere to an anti-essentialist theory of art? That is, does anyone deny that we can give it a philosophical definition (i.e., the necessary and sufficient conditions for something to qualify as art)? One might say poetically that art, by definition, has no definition. What do you think?
tillingborn
Posts: 1073
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:15 pm

Re: Current status of anti-essentialist theories

Post by tillingborn »

My last brush with serious philosophy was an uncompleted Msc in History and Philosophy of Science under David Papineau, at King's College, London. At the time (late 80's),the big cheese was Paul Feyerabend and while he is sometimes held responsible for the post-modernist nonsense that followed, I still don't think his analysis of science has been bettered. Against Method is a really important book, in my view. The core thesis is that it really doesn't matter what you call science, if it has any merit, it will be taken seriously by people who are serious about science. Likewise, if the question 'Is it art?' can be taken seriously, the answer is probably yes.
Dunno whether that qualifies as an essence. There was an article in Philosophy Now http://philosophynow.org/issues/58/The_ ... And_Beyond which is my most up to date view on the current status of anti-essentialist theories, from which I gather there is a move away from them.
User avatar
Arising_uk
Posts: 12314
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:31 am

Re: Current status of anti-essentialist theories

Post by Arising_uk »

Although in a sense Feyerabend's work is incomplete as it was meant to be complimented by Lakatos reply but he died.
tillingborn
Posts: 1073
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:15 pm

Re: Current status of anti-essentialist theories

Post by tillingborn »

Arising_uk wrote:Although in a sense Feyerabend's work is incomplete as it was meant to be complimented by Lakatos reply but he died.
Well, yeah, but you name me a better half a book!
Pluto
Posts: 1856
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:26 pm
Location: Belgium

Re: Current status of anti-essentialist theories

Post by Pluto »

zefan13 wrote:Does anyone here adhere to an anti-essentialist theory of art? That is, does anyone deny that we can give it a philosophical definition (i.e., the necessary and sufficient conditions for something to qualify as art)? One might say poetically that art, by definition, has no definition. What do you think?

I think the word 'art' is like the word 'life'. As soon as you've said what might define it, a whole load of other possibilities open up as you do so.
Post Reply