Work and Object: Explorations in the Metaphysics of Art

ISBN : 9780199655496

Peter Lamarque
264 ページ
142 x 215 mm

Work and Object is a study of fundamental questions in the metaphysics of art, notably how works relate to the materials that constitute them. Issues about the creation of works, what is essential and inessential to their identity, their distinct kinds of properties, including aesthetic properties, their amenability to interpretation, their style, the conditions under which they can go out of existence, and their relation to perceptually indistinguishable doubles (e.g. forgeries and parodies), are raised and debated. A core theme is that works like paintings, music, literature, sculpture, architecture, films, photographs, multi-media installations, and many more besides, have fundamental features in common, as cultural artefacts, in spite of enormous surface differences. It is their nature as distinct kinds of things, grounded in distinct ontological categories, that is the subject of this enquiry. Although much of the discussion is abstract, based in analytical metaphysics, there are numerous specific applications, including a study of Jean-Paul Sartre's novel La Nausee and recent conceptual art. Some surprising conclusions are derived, about the identity conditions of works and about the difference, often, between what a work seems to be and what it really is.


1. Introduction
2. On Bringing a Work into Existence
3. Work and Object
4. Distinctness and Indiscernibility in the Allographic Arts
5. Aesthetic Essentialism
6. Aesthetic Empiricism
7. Imitating Style
8. Objects of Interpretation
9. How to Create a Fictional Character
10. Art, Ontology and the End of Nausea
11. On Perceiving Conceptual Art


Peter Lamarque is Professor of Philosophy at the University of York. He joined the Department of Philosophy in 2000. Prior to that, he was Ferens Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hull and Head of the Philosophy Department between 1995 and 2000. He was a lecturer and then senior lecturer at the University of Stirling between 1972 and 1995. From 1995 to 2008 he was Editor of the British Journal of Aesthetics.