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Law and Aesthetics

March 26th, 2004 · No Comments

Will notes a creative writing contest centering on the (fictional) discipline of Law and Aesthetics. But it occurs to me that, actually, the major theories advanced to offer an account of “what art is” (at least as I’ve understood them from Will, who’s teaching aesthetics at Howard U. this semester) parallel reasonably closely the major theories of jurisprudence. Various candidates make the sine qua non of art the public meaning of or reaction to a piece, others focus on authorial intent, others place great weight on whether an object exhibits “significant form”, still others on the situation of a piece relative to various “artworld” institutions. This is a fairly superficial intuition, but it’d be interesting to see if the objections to and motivations behind each of the various theories in law and aesthetics show a deeper parallel structure.

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