Art and Art-Attempts is modest in its professed aim but highly controversial in its professed conclusions. The aim is to investigate “what follows from taking intention-dependence seriously as a substantive necessary condition for being art,” thereby clarifying “the nature of the art-theoretic space that any art theory must occupy so as to be minimally viable as such.” Since almost everyone who claims to be doing theory of art subscribes to the intention-dependence of artworks, we might expect only ecumenical conclusions to result from this investigation. However, by the end of the book, Christy Mag Uidhir has dismissed significant parts of what passes for the most respectable contemporary philosophical work on the nature of artworks, artists, and art-kinds. Taking intention-dependence seriously, it is claimed, entails, inter alia, that we reject Jerrold Levinson’s historical-intentional definition of art on principle and that we accept (1) that there can be no photographic artworks, (2) that no artworks can be abstract entities, and (3) that “repeatable” artworks are multiple distinct works that are “relevantly similar.” I ask how such weighty consequences can follow from such apparently slim beginnings. I identify a couple of moves in the overall argument that strike me as calling for further reflection and sketch the path I think such reflection should follow.


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pp. 8-22
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