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The Art Question Paperback – 19 Dec 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (19 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415174902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415174909
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'Invaluable... a sound introduction.... Warburton guides the reader gently and accessibly through some of the most influential theories of the twentieth century... He deftly applies the standard tools of philosophy, such as counter-examples and the detection of circular reasoning, to a field that is prone to vagueness, pretentiousness and sometimes elastic notions of meaning and language.... an excellent introduction to the philosophy of art.' - Think

'Nigel Warburton brings a philosopher's eye to the debate ... to explore with admirable clarity, the factors that might turn a roomful of chocolate into a work of art, and why it matters.' - The Independent

'Nigel Warburton brings clarity, philosophical acuity, and conciseness to the long-standing problem of defining art...For readers new to the problem, the theories are explained in an engaging way and assessed systematically, whith discussion supported throughout by significant, up-to-date cases from the art world.' Emily Brady, The British Journal of Aesthetics


If an artist sends a live peacock to an exhibition, is it art? The question 'what is art?' is a question many of us want to know but are afraid to ask. It is the very question that Nigel Warburton demystifies in this brilliant, accessible and affordable book. With help of carefully chosen illustrations and photographs, from Cezanne and Van Gogh to Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and the Osmond family, best-selling author Nigel Warburton brings a philosopher's eye to art in a refreshingly jargon-free style. Starting with the idea that art is simply significant form, he explains with his customary clarity much talked about but little understood theories of art: art as expression, art as family resemblance, the institutional theory of art. Throughout, he brings to life the arguments of the thinkers behind these theories, such as Clive Bell, R.G Collingwood and Wittgenstein. He also illuminates other perplexing problems in art, such as the artist's intention, representation and emotion, before drawing on photographs of Cindy Sherman and Tiananmen Square to show that we must consider each work of art on its own terms if we are ever to answer the art question.

The Art Question is a stimulating and handy guide through the art maze and is essential reading for anyone interested in art and philosophy.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
Glenn Russell
5.0 out of 5 starsI’d like to share a few of my own thoughts
20 September 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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5.0 out of 5 starsfor those interested in contemporary art philosophical discourse
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L. Lu
4.0 out of 5 starsText book
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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat book for class!
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John Roberts
4.0 out of 5 starsexcellent book
30 December 2008 - Published on Amazon.com
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