‘Is Cave Art Art?’

6 June 2016; 1600-18:00

Senate House – Room 243

According to the view known as ontological contextualism, the identify and appreciable features of art depend not only on its perceptible qualities but on relations between these and the intentions of their makers, the social practices and traditions in which they are embedded, and so on. So, why are we so confident that European cave paintings of the Upper Paleolithic are art, when we do not know why they were made or how they were appreciated? And if our confidence is well-founded, does this defeat ontological contextualism?