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Single Idea 20333

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / B. Nature of Art / 7. Ontology of Art]

Full Idea

In denying that works of art are physical objects, one theory (the 'ideal') withdraws them altogether from experience, and a second theory ('phenomenal') pins them too it inescapably and at all points.

Gist of Idea

If artworks are not physical objects, they are either ideal entities, or collections of phenomena


Richard Wollheim (Art and Its Objects [1968], 21)

A Reaction

I incline towards them being transient ideals, created by human minds. As with so much, we idealise and objectify them as 'works', and abstract their image from the instance(s) we encounter.

Book Reference

Wollheim,Richard: 'Art and Its Objects' [Penguin 1975], p.52