Davies, Chapter Two, Defining Art


1.       Necessary and sufficient conditions

2.       A definition of art should specify its necessary and sufficient conditions

3.       A definition of art will be inadequate if it excludes paradigm artworks or includes paradigm non-artworks

4.       Essentialism and anti-essentialism

5.       Two types of skepticism about defining art

6.       (1) Weitz’s anti-essentialism

7.       (2) Definitions of art will be unhelpful

8.       Family-resemblance view of art’s nature

9.       Cluster theory (Berys Gaut)

10.     Radical stipulativism

11.     Davies thinks it worth searching for definitions of art


          (Aes Functionalism, Institutional Theory, Historicism)

12.     Aesthetic Functionalism (Beardsley and Zangwill)

13.     Institutional Theory of Art (George Dickie)

14.     Historicism

15.     Hybrid definitions combine functionalism, institution theory and historicism

16.     Non-Western Art and the Artworld Relativity Problem


17.     Can something be art even if no one recognizes it as art?

18.     Does public determine what is art?

19.     Three constituencies that might affect if something is art

20.     Prejudice sometimes influences the artworld power brokers

21.     Has there been a sexist bias by art experts in what counts as art?

22.     Response to the warehouse argument

23.     Controversial examples: Are the following art? Important art? Clearly not art? Provide important commentary about art?

24.     Davies Questions (p. 48)

25.     2.1: Can something become art by referring to and repudiating earlier art?

26.     2.2: Are the following artforms?

27.     2.4: Altering one’s body as art?

28.     2.3 Must artworks be artifacts (made by humans) or could they be found readymade in nature

29.     2.6: List of possible art-relevant features