Philosophy of Art

Phil 137 Second Test May 21, 2020

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So on this test, the questions ask you to apply the concepts and theories we have studied.

Nevertheless, I am not looking for long essays. I am thinking of short essays that together would have the approximate length of a 4 to 5 page (1000-1250 word) mid-term research paper. (I would prefer that your answers be double-spaced.)

The questions do not have single correct answers. I will be looking for how much understanding of the material is displayed.


Answer the following questions (50 points each).

1. Saito identifies seven features of paradigmatic Western art, but they are not completely independent of each other. Discuss how frame and engagement with the aesthetic object are related to one another. You should pay attention to what Saito says about this, but also expand on it.

2. Wollheim understands pictorial representation is a species of a more general phenomenon that he calls representational seeing, which is governed by a standard of correctness that is set, in the case of a painting, by the artist’s intention. Hopkins identifies six features of depiction that he says distinguish it from description. One of these is that any depicted particular is depicted as having some properties, and the properties are relatively determinate. He gives as an example that fact that while we can speak simply about triangularity, we cannot simply depict it. Explain what he means and discuss what this feature of depiction implies for Wollheimian pictorial representation—in particular, what it implies about the standard of correctness that Wollheim posits. You should bear in mind here that on Wollheim’s theory, pictorial representation can fail, so that nothing is in fact pictorially represented.

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