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By Graham McFee

Artistic Judgement sketches a framework for an account of artwork compatible to philosophical aesthetics. It stresses transformations among artistic endeavors and different issues; and locates the knowledge of works of art either in a story of the heritage of artwork and within the institutional practices of the paintings international. for this reason its strong point lies in its robust account of the adaptation among, at the one hand, the judgement and appreciation of paintings and, at the different, the judgement and appreciation of all of the different issues during which we take a classy curiosity. for less than via acknowledging this distinction can one do justice to the significance usually ascribed to paintings. The distinction is defined by means of beautiful to an occasion-sensitive account of realizing, drawn from Charles Travis at once, yet with Gordon Baker (and Wittgenstein) as additionally proximate instead of distant. in this foundation, it argues, first, that we have to provide debts of key issues in simple terms so far as questions should be raised in appreciate of them (hence, now not exceptionlessly); and, moment, that we should always consequently shield the view that the which means of artistic endeavors should be replaced via later occasions (the ancient personality of paintings, or ahead retroactivism) and that paintings has an institutional personality, understood generally at the strains of Terry Diffey’s Republic of artwork. in addition to delivering a basic framework, creative Judgement additionally explores the functions of the information to precise artistic endeavors or periods of them.

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In recognizing the philosophically fundamental character of such cases, this comment rejects the “contemptuous attitude to the particular case” (BB: 18) sometimes taken in philosophy. In effect, there are two connected points here. The first emphasizes the practical role of examples or cases: they are all we have to turn to—and they prime our ‘intuition pumps’. But does this suggest that appealing to cases or examples is second-best; that some general claim would be preferred “if it could be got” (Bradley, 1969: 506)?

Further, drawing the distinction admits the possibility of distinguishing cases that, without the contrast, would probably be treated in the same way. 9 Outline of This Work In beginning to sketch my framework for philosophical aesthetics, I have aimed both to explain and to motivate the artistic/aesthetic contrast, and to insist on its centrality within philosophical aesthetics. In doing so, I invoked occasion-sensitivity to explain how to dodge one apparently deadly ‘bullet’: that notion is expanded in Chapter 2, which also illustrates that artistic understanding is the province of competent judges, with such understanding the sort of thing can be learnt without necessarily being able to say (other than truistically) what one thereby learns.

Then others (such as Kamber, 1998) can be forgiven for hoping to explore the topic empirically. If Weitz offers a thesis about how the concept functions (like Waismann’s talk of the open texture of some concepts17 ), one might still wonder how this is determined. Of course, Weitz (1977: 31–34) famously appeals to Wittgenstein’s discussion of the concept game (PI §§65–6718 ). But his account misunderstands Wittgenstein. As Brand (2000: 175) rightly points out, and I argued elsewhere (McFee, 2003a), Wittgenstein’s primary achievement was not just to show that certain terms (the term “art” among them) were not amenable to definition, where definition is understood Notes 27 as the giving of conditions individually necessary and jointly sufficient—although he did show this too (compare UD: 16–21).

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