Philosophy of Art (Fall 2002)

Dr. Yoko Arisaka
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First Short Paper Topic

(4-5 pages typed.  Due Thursday, October 3.)

Select ONE question from below.

1.  Of all the authors we have covered, which author do you agree with the most, with respect to the question, “what is art?”  Using a concrete example of what you consider a “work of art,” explain why.  In what way does the work express what the selected author would say?  (The author says X, and this example shows this idea in such and such a way.)  Who would disagree (from the selection of essays we have covered)?  In what way would this author disagree?  Explain.

2.  Select a particular work of art.  (If it’s a painting, please attach a xerox copy.  If it’s a piece of music, give a title and artist, and possibly a website where I might be able to find it, so I can look it up.  If it’s a play/film, attach a brief outline of the plot.  In other words, please give me some way that I would be able to know the reference.)  Then, use at least two authors, and explain in what way your selected piece of art qualifies or fails to qualify as “art.”  (You could choose two who would claim that it is art, or you could choose one who would and one who would not.  Or you could choose two who would not.)

3.  Select an author you disagree with the most.  Explain what the author says, and explain why you disagree.  To explain disagreement, select a particular work of art, and explain what the author might say.  Then explain in what way, given the artwork, that you think the author is wrong—in other words, give counter-examples to what the author might claim.  In doing so, select an author who might agree with you, and refer to the ideas from that author to back your position.

Please use page references when quoting.  Work with the particular essays we have covered (outside sources are not necessary, though allowed—in that case, give clear reference).

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