Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 A - Art


Art: Skillful applications of conscious fantasy that aim at making experience more interesting, beautiful or pleasant.

Put otherwise: Art is the creation of interesting, beautiful or pleasant artefacts that arise from the imagination, and indeed technology (also art = techne in Greek) is the creation of useful artefacts that arise from natural knowledge.

Products of art tend to be more intense, more concentrated, more dramatic than the (supposed) reality they imaginatively represent or enhance.

Most technology - houses, cars, daily utentils - is estheticized by some artful design that enhances the technology, but this may vary much (factories, motherboards, garbage dumps).

It is not easy to define all or most that may be (more sensibly than not, in ordinary language) referred to by the term "art", and one has to somehow include or cover artefacts like paintings, music, sculpture, literature, film and photography, cooking, architecture, design of instruments and artefacts in general (as stylizations of some technological artefact), and allow for art that is abstract in various senses, whether deliberately non-representing pictures or more or less necessarily so, as with the forms - streamlining, shaping, ordering - of things or their parts.

In general, it seems art concerns the production of interesting, beautiful or pleasant things and experiences, and is involved in almost all human conscious action, since that is mostly meant to improve or enhance something or make or do something interesting, pleasant or beautiful, or to represent something imaginatively.


See also: Noten bij Multatuli's idee 158 (Dutch), Imitation


EoP, Tatarkiewicz

 Original: Sep 27, 2007                                                Last edited:08 February 2012.   Top