By Gregory Currie (auth.)
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Additional info for An Ontology of Art
18 It is worth pursuing this idea in a direction somewhat different from Gombrich's application of it to problems of representation. Perhaps we should say, first of all, that a painting is the result of an experiment; an experiment performed by the artist who uses 42 An Ontology of Art certain theories, conventions and techniques; an experiment to see what can be done by using certain limited means. Now a significant purpose of experiments in science is, as Popper has pointed out, to test our theories.
Moore is famous for insisting that ethical properties cannot be reduced to naturalistic properties. But he also seems to have believed that ethical properties supervene on naturalistic ones. If St Francis was a good man, then surely anyone like him in all naturalistic respects (in respect, say, of thought and action) would have to be a good man also. 6 Now the empiricist can start to give a more plausible account of what we do when we make aesthetic judgements about, and Empiricism 21 discriminations between, pictures.
But this would involve a contradiction. Nothing can be simultaneously dynamic and non-dynamic. The solution comes when we realise that there are two distinct ways in which aesthetic properties can be relativised. Walton's objection is an objection only to one of these ways; the way according to which 'is dynamic' really means 'is dynamic as a K', which in turn is short for 'is dynamic when viewed as if it belonged to the category K'. But the alternative is to treat aesthetic attributions as category-relative in the sense that they are always relative to categories to which the work does in fact belong.
An Ontology of Art by Gregory Currie (auth.)