Title: Artistic Priorities

11 January 2017; 1600-18:00

Senate House – Room 234


In this paper, I articulate and defend two explanatory priority theses in the theory of art. The first is that of evaluative over descriptive notions of art: art, I claim, is what ought to be good art. The second is that of practice over works: works of art are best understood as the products of activities which are themselves artistic in character. Throughout the paper I pursue an extended analogy between art and assertion: and along the way I discuss essentialism and anti-essentialism; the institutional theory of art and its intentionalist rivals; and issues in the ontology of artworks.