Non-Western Art and the Concept of Art: Can Cluster Theories of Art Account for the Universality of Art? Cover Image
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Non-Western Art and the Concept of Art: Can Cluster Theories of Art Account for the Universality of Art?
Non-Western Art and the Concept of Art: Can Cluster Theories of Art Account for the Universality of Art?

Author(s): Annelies Monseré
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Ústav dějin umění Akademie věd České republiky
Keywords: art; art (concept of); art (definition of); art (cluster theory of); non-Western art; art (universality of)

Summary/Abstract: This essay seeks to demonstrate that there are no compelling reasons to exclude non-Western artefacts from the domain of art. Any theory of art must therefore account for the universality of the concept of art. It cannot simply start from ‘our’ art traditions and extend these conceptions to other cultures, since this would imply cultural appropriation, nor can it resolve the matter simply by formulating separate criteria for non-Western art, since this would imply that there is no unity in the concept of art. At first sight, cluster theories of art seem capable of accounting for the universality of art since they (can) start from a broad cross-cultural range of artworks and nowhere seem to extend one conception of art to other conceptions. Yet cluster theories remain unsatisfactory, because they can neither avoid misapplication of the proposed criteria, nor clarify the unity in the concept of art.

  • Issue Year: XLIX/2012
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 148-165
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English