Some definitions of art

Account for first art?

Account for avant- garde art?

Account for new artforms and genres (e.g., jazz, photography)


More Problems

Family resemblance

Art objects resemble each other like members of a family do


Not ready-mades



Ready-Made art resembles non-art more than other art 

Radical stipulativism Experts arbitrarily decisions determine what is art




Seems to describe how artworld often functions

Gets things backwards and makes art designation arbitrary

Aes functionalism

Art if intended for aes experience of aes properties


No; can’t account for art that lacks or rejects aes properties

Yes (doesn’t require reference to established art)

Defines art by its function


Institutional theory Artist created it to be presented to the artworld

No as no art institution back then

Yes; allows for found and ready-made art


Stresses importance of artworld to art



Art if properly related to its artistic predecessors

No as no predecessors

No as this art often aims to reject the tradition

No as historically unprecedented genres not so related

Can explain why not everything can be made to be art at every time