Date of Award

5-6-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Larry Berman

Second Advisor

Dr. Jessica Berry

Abstract

Defining art has been one of philosophy of art’s biggest projects. However, no definition offered has achieved to account for all objects we consider art. In this paper, I argue that normative dualism, an unjustifiable Western prejudice for the mental, plays a big part in this failure. The division between fine art and utilitarian and “low” art has been perpetuated because the former is associated with the mental processes involved in its appreciation and, thus, considered more valuable. Theories of art also tend to exclude production (a physical process), concentrating mostly on the appreciation of art (a mental process). Ridding theory of the bias of normative dualism, by abolishing the division that sets fine art apart as more valuable and writing theory that takes art production into consideration, is the only way art theory will succeed in accurately describing art objects.

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