•  572
    On the prototype theory of concepts and the definition of art
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3). 2005.
    It has been claimed that the prototype theory of concepts supports two controversial claims in the philosophy of art: that art cannot be defined, and that the possession of a certain sort of historical narrative is a sufficient but not necessary means of determining the art status of contested works. It is argued here that two sorts of considerations undermine the thesis that prototype theory offers significant support to anti-definitionism and historical narrativism. First, there is reason to…Read more
  •  206
    The definition of art
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2018.
    The definition of art is controversial in contemporary philosophy. Whether art can be defined has also been a matter of controversy. The philosophical usefulness of a definition of art has also been debated. Contemporary definitions can be classified with respect to the dimensions of art they emphasize. One distinctively modern, conventionalist, sort of definition focuses on art’s institutional features, emphasizing the way art changes over time, modern works that appear to break radically with …Read more
  •  141
    On the cluster account of art
    British Journal of Aesthetics 43 (4): 379-385. 2003.
    The cluster account of art is a purportedly non-definitional account of art, inspired by Wittgenstein's notion of family resemblance, and recently defended by Berys Gaut. Gaut does not provide good reasons to think that art is not definable, and his approach to possible counterexamples to the cluster account would, applied consistently, preclude this. The cluster account's theory of error, its resources for accounting for borderline cases, and its heuristic usefulness are not impressive. Reasons…Read more
  •  114
    Demarcation, Definition, Art
    In An Anthology of Philosophical Studies - Volume 7. pp. 177-188. 2013.
    The question of how to demarcate science from pseudo-science commands relatively little attention today. In the philosophy of logic, by contrast, the problem of demarcating the logical constants is less skeptically regarded. In aesthetics, where the problem is how to demarcate art from non-art, the question as to whether the problem is a real one or a pseudo-problem also continues to be debated. This paper discusses the hypothesis that the demarcation questions in these three areas are parallel…Read more
  •  65
    Something about Vagueness and Aesthetic Disagreement
    Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 4 41-55. 2012.
    Vagueness has gotten some attention in aesthetics, but deserves more. Vagueness is universally acknowledged to be ubiquitous. It has played a substantive role in some recent writing on the definition of art. It has figured importantly in analyses of the concept of literature, and (in connection with a thought experiment of Arthur Danto’s), of the ontology of art. Vagueness was a locus of contention in a debate between Alan Goldman and Eddy Zemach about the reality of aesthetic properties. This p…Read more
  •  35
    Artistic Judgment: A Framework for Philosophical Aesthetics
    British Journal of Aesthetics 51 (4): 453-456. 2011.
  • Arabella Lyon, Intentions: Negotiated, Contested, and Ignored (review)
    Philosophy in Review 19 432-434. 1999.