Single Idea 20440

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 1. Defining Art]

Full Idea

No definition of art is possible (since it is a referential activity), …but the symptoms of art are syntactic density, semantic density, syntactic repleteness, exemplificationality, and multiple and complex reference.

Gist of Idea

Art is a referential activity, hence indefinable, but it has a set of symptoms


Nelson Goodman (Languages of Art (2nd edn) [1968], p.22-255), quoted by Alessandro Giovannelli - Nelson Goodman (aesthetics) 4

Book Reference

'Key Thinkers in Aesthetics', ed/tr. Giovannelli,Alessandro [Continuum 2012], p.178

A Reaction

I wish these labels were more self-explanatory. Goodman seems to want to assimilate art to his earlier interests in linguistic anti-realism and mereology. I wouldn't have thought he now had many followers.