Christy Mag Uidhir is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Houston. His main area of research is the philosophy of art. He has published articles in such journals as Philosophers’ Imprint, Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, The British Journal of Aesthetics, and The Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism.
Artistic Serendipity vs. Artistic Luck
Thursday, 25 September 2014
16:00 – at Senate House, G34
It is standardly thought that artworks may gain and lose art-relevant properties over time (and thereby may also admit of similar gains and losses in artistic value). From this it follows that insofar as such gains and losses may be well outside the control of the artist, we ought to expect any minimally adequate theory of art and its value as such to come with (or at least be amenable to) some minimal notion of artistic luck and artistic achievement (such that ascriptions of the one undermine ascriptions of the other). In this talk, I’ll sketch what I take to be uncontroversial minimal accounts of both artistic luck and artistic achievement. From these I show it to follow that if artworks must be products of intentional action, then there can be no such thing as artistic luck (either descriptively or evaluatively). I claim the only formative role luck might play in our understanding of art and its value as such is to provide the means by which we may productively carve out an informative sub-class of artistic achievement: specifically that of artistic serendipity.