Evaluating the aims and methods of defining art. A metaphilosophical investigation regarding the question ‘what is art?’

Start - End 
2010 - 2015 (completed)
Department of Philosophy and moral sciences
Research Focus 
Research Language 
Research Methodology 



My dissertation consists of a metaphilosophical investigation into the project of defining art. Many deem this project to be both impossible and futile. My two main objectives were:  (1) to clarify and evaluate (a) the methods philosophers use to define art and (b) the aims they hope to fulfil by their proposed definitions of art; (2) to offer positive recommendations on how to proceed in the future. My findings regarding (1) entail that there is a mismatch between philosophers of art’s self-image and their practice and that this mismatch can be resolved neither by adjusting their self-image, nor by adjusting their practice, given that both self-image and practice are fundamentally problematic. In order to realize (2), I have explored alternative approaches to the definition of art. I developed and argued for a pragmatic approach to defining art, an approach that turns out to be both viable and fruitful.



Phd Student(s)