Philosophy and the Arts

Philosophy and the Arts
Midterm Exam Study Guide
Midterm: October 14, 2015
Short Answer Section: The following terms are to help you in studying for the short
answer section of the exam. There will be 10 short answer questions of the exam, of
which you are to answer 8 (5 points each).
Originality and genius
Authors and authority
Consumer revolution
Art and representation
Consequences of photography
Art proper/art as amusement
Higher/lower pleasures (Mill)
Standard of Taste
What is art, for Tolstoy
Edge of chaos
Art and censorship
Plato and the poets
Disenfranchisement of art
Institutional theory
Readymade art
Conceptual art
art as play
art and sport
cognitive theory
intentional fallacy
language games
Essay question. Two of the following three essay topics will be on the midterm. You will
be required to write on one of those two (60 points):
1. A common understanding of art is that it is representational. Discuss what it
means to think of art as representational. Who are some philosophers who thought
of art in this way? What are some problems with understanding art as
representational, and how does avant-garde art challenge this understanding?
Elaborate and be sure to bring in examples.
2. In his essay on the “Standard of Taste,” Hume argues that although one’s taste is
neither true or false, it can be better or worse than someone else’s. Elaborate this
argument. What are some of the problems Graham has with Hume’s arguments?
And finally, contrast Hume’s understanding of the standard of taste with another
of the theories we have discussed in class.
3. Compare and contrast the institutional theory of art with what Wittgenstein says
about art. Feel free to bring in any of the other theories or ideas discussed in class
to assist in laying out the similarities and differences between institutional theory
(Danto and Dickie in particular) and Wittgenstein.
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