Are ThereCounterexamples to Aesthetic Theories of Art?
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Do all works of art have anaesthetic purpose? It is not particularly controversial that many works of art have anaesthetic purpose. What will be disputed is whether they all do. According to aesthetic theories of art, having an aesthetic purpose makes a thing art. It will be said that the trouble with aesthetic theories of art is that there seem to be works of art with no aesthetic purpose.Most aestheticians in the last few decades have thought it is obvious that there are clear counterexamples to aesthetic theories, and so they think that such views are easily shown to be false. I shall begin by arguing that this rests ona hasty view of one kind of counterexample, anda methodologically naïve approach to another. I then consider different notions of art, and Iend with some reflections on methodology in the philosophy of art. Aesthetic theories emerge looking fit and healthy.
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