Dominic McIver Lopes articulates and defends a 'buck passing theory of art', namely that a work of art is nothing but a work in one of the arts. Having traced philosophical interest in theories of art to a reaction to certain puzzle cases of avant-garde art, he argues that none of the theories that have dominated philosophy since the 1960s adequately copes with these works. Whereas these theories have reached a dialectical impasse wherein they reiterate, and cannot resolve, disagreement over the puzzle cases, the buck passing theory illuminates the radical provocations of avant-garde art. In addition, when supplemented by a systematic framework for crafting theories of the individual arts, the buck passing theory grounds our empirical inquiries into the arts as well as our practices of appreciation and art criticism. Lopes seeks to model the diverse strategies employed by humanists and social and behavioural scientists who study the different arts. He gives the specificity of each art form a central role in our appreciative endeavours, and yet he stresses the continuity of the arts with similar, non-art activities such as fashion design, sports and games, cuisine, nature appreciation, and non-literary writing.
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achievement acquaintance principle aesthetic appreciation aesthetic features aesthetic interest aesthetic judgement aesthetic theories aesthetic value appreciative kinds appreciative practice architecture argues art kinds art world artefact artworks avant-garde Beardsley Beardsley’s beauty belong bricoleur problem Brillo Boxes buck passing theory buck stopping theories Carroll category of art ceramic art Chapter claim concept of art conceptual art counterexamples criticism dance Danto depiction descriptive thesis Dickie empirical art studies example exhibited features fact Fountain framework free agents function Gaut genetic theories good-modified goodness-fixing kinds Guernica hard hypothesis ice dance ikebana individual arts informative theory institutional theory intuitions Iseminger Kristeller literature medium profile medium-centred non-aesthetic features norm open concept painting perceptible features perceptual philosophers photographs poetry question schema sculpture Shetland sheepdogs specific stance thematizing activity theory of aesthetic theory of art theory of artistic thetic tion traditional theories trivial theory twins argument understanding value in art Weitz Wollheim work’s