A Critique of Functionalist Definitions of Art
PDF (English)

Słowa kluczowe

contemporary art

Jak cytować

Fokt, S. (2015). A Critique of Functionalist Definitions of Art. Kultura-Społeczeństwo-Edukacja, 8(2), 27–46. https://doi.org/10.14746/kse.2015.2.2


This paper deals with the issue of definition of art and artwork in the sense of functionalist approach. It critically argues with the existing terms and meanings of artwork in that sense and presents them as insufficient and inadequate when speaking of modern art. Furthermore functionalism assumes that a great deal of artworks has a specific function, what we cannot say about a large number of contemporary artistic endeavors. Therefore it is being argued here that this approach, how popular it might have been in the past, must be replaced with a new paradigm of comprehension of esthetics.
PDF (English)


Beardsley M.C (1982). Redefining Art. [In:] M.J. Wreen; D.M. Callen [eds.], The A esthetic Point of View. Ithaca, NY.

Biebuyck D. (1973). Lega Culture: Art, Initiation, and Moral Philosophy Among a Central African People. Berkeley.

Camfield W.A. (1989). Marcel Duchamp, Fountain. Houston.

Cohen M. (1962). Aesthetic Essence. [In:] G. Dickie, R.J. Sclafani [eds.]. Aesthetics: A Critical Anthology. New York.

Davies S. (1991). Definitions of Art. Ithaca, NY.

Dickie G. (1964). The Myth of the A esthetic Attitude. “American Philosophical Quarterly” 1.1: 5665.

Dickie G. (1965). Beardsley’s Phantom Aesthetic Experience. “The Journal of Philosophy” 62.5: 129-136.

Dickie G. (1997). The Art Circle: A Theory of Art. Chicago.

Dickie G. (2000). The Institutional Theory of Art. [In:] N. Carroll [ed.], Theories of Art Today. Madison, WI.

Gaut B. (2000). “Art” as a Cluster Concept. [In:] N. Carroll [ed.], Theories of Art Today. Madison, WI. Chap. 2: 25-44.

Harman A. (1988). Mediaeval and Early Renaissance Music. London.

Horton R. (1965). Kalahari sculpture. Lagos.

Iseminger G. (2004). The Aesthetic Function of Art. Madison, WI.

Kamber R. (1998). Weitz Reconsidered: a Clearer View of Why Theories of Art Fail. “The British Journal of Aesthetics” 38.1: 33-46.

Kennick W.E. (1958). Does Traditional Aesthetics Rest on a Mistake? “Mind” 67.267: 317-334.

Kostyrko T. (1985). Dzieło sztuki - wartości estetyczne - wartości poznawcze. [In:] K. Zamiara [ed.], O kulturze i jej badaniu. Warszawa.

Layton R. (1991). The Anthropology of Art. 2nd ed. Cambridge.

Levinson J. (1979). Defining art historically. “The British Journal of Aesthetics” 19.3: 232-250.

Marmor M.F. (2006). Ophthalmology and art: simulation of Monet’s cataracts and Degas’ retinal disease. “Archives of Ophthalmology” 124.12: 1764-1769.

McKinnon J. [ed.] (1990). Antiquity and the M iddle Ages: From A ncient Greece to the 15th Century. London.

Riegl A. (1985). Late Roman art industry. London.

Shiner L. (2001). The Invention of Art: a cultural history. Chicago.

Sibley F. (1959). Aesthetic Concepts. “The Philosophical Review” 68.4: 421-450.

Stecker R. (1996). Artworks: Definition, Meaning, Value. University Park, PA.

Stecker R. (2007). Review o f Gary Iseminger: The A esthetic Function of Art. “Philosophical Review” 116.1: 115-118.

Vasari G. (1963). The Lives o f the Painters, Sculptors & Architects. Vol. 1. London.

Weitz M. (1956). The Role o f Theory in Aesthetics. “Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism” 15: 27-35.

Zangwill N. (2007). Aesthetic Creation. Oxford.