Philosophy of the Arts


Some say painting is over—how could it be?

Magritte boven Escher

Schilderijen als La Condition Humaine van René Magritte maken de representationele houding ervaarbaar: het verschil tussen wat we ervaren als we naar het doek kijken (“Het afgebeelde canvas beeldt af wat het verbergt “) en wat we zouden ervaren als we in de afgebeelde kamer konden rondlopen. Hetzelfde gebeurt bij de man met de appel…

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Culture is dedication to the ritual

Three conceptions of culture Culture can be conceived of as1. a set of products (works of art, our cultural heritage)2. a set of processes (sports, art policy), or, lastly, 3. as an activity. The sequence of these three conceptions is conform our common sense views. In reality the activity founds the processes, and these produce…

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Photographs used to be proof of the reality of their subject: what was on them proved to have existed. [Roland Barthes wrote an interesting booklet about this]. This evidential capacity distinguished photographs from their intentional counterparts, paintings. [Roger Scruton (1983) wrote a convincing article on this distinction.] Due to digitalization all this has changed thoroughly,…

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Fakes and authenticities

1. All sorts of them. Let me sum up some types of discrepancies between originals and their copies. Some of these should tell us something about our concepts of ‘art’, ‘the authentic’, ‘forgery’, ‘representation’, and ‘reproduction’. A scene and its photographic representation; A scene and its painted representation; A scene and its description; A painting…

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