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The analytic philosophers writing here engage with the cluster of philosophical questions raised by conceptual art. They address four broad questions: What kind of art is conceptual art? What follows from the fact that conceptual art does not aim to have aesthetic value? What knowledge or understanding can we gain from conceptual art? How ought we to...
The analytic philosophers writing here engage with the cluster of philosophical questions raised by conceptual art. They address four broad questions: What kind of art is conceptual art? What follows from the fact that conceptual art does not aim to have aesthetic value? What knowledge or understanding can we gain from conceptual art? How ought we to appreciate conceptual art? Conceptual art, broadly understood by the contributors as beginning with Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades and as continuing beyond the 1970s to include some of today's contemporary art, is grounded in the notion that the artist's "idea" is central to art, and, contrary to tradition, that the material work is by no means essential to the art as such. To use the words of the conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, "In conceptual art the idea of the concept is the most important aspect of the work . . . and the execution is a perfunctory affair." Given this so-called "dematerialization" of the art object, the emphasis on cognitive value, and the frequent appeal to philosophy by many conceptual artists, there are many questions that are raised by conceptual art that should be of interest to analytic philosophers. Why, then, has so little work been done in this area? This volume is most probably the first collection of papers by analytic philosophers tackling these concerns head-on.
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