Some objections to Stecker's historical functionalism

Stock, Kathleen (2000) Some objections to Stecker's historical functionalism. British Journal of Aesthetics, 40 (4). pp. 479-491. ISSN 0007-0904

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The claim that the functions of art liable to change over time appears to suggest that any attempt to define art in terms of a limited set of functions will fail. Robert Stecker has offered a functionalist definition which seeks to accommodate this criticism by making the functions which are relevant to an artwork's status those which are 'standard or correctly recognized' for some art form. I argue that Stecker does not offer a clear enough distinction between the 'standard or correctly recognized' and the accidental functions of an art form; that his account of the 'standard or correctly recognized' functions of an art form does not exhaust important artistic functions; and that his proposed definition is neither necessary nor sufficient for an object to count as an artwork. For these reasons I suggest that Stecker's functionalist account of art should be rejected.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Kathleen Stock
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:29
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 12:03
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