Institutional Theory of Art

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Brianna Fehrman


Problem with Aesthetics

Fall 2010

William Blizek’s article about the Institutional Theory of Art criticizes Dickies’ theory. Blizek makes many arguments against Dickie in the sense that he believes Dickie to be problematic in most of what he presents. First off Blizek dabbles against Dickie in his definition that art can be defined in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions without them having an influence on the creativity of the artwork. Dickie says that you have to be able to classify a work as an artifact that a person has obtained on behalf of a social institution, and only then can there be appreciation for the work in the art world. Blizek believes that his theory should be modified before Dickie can make a significant contribution to the theory of art. Dickie seems to think that the only candidates to present a work or art are those who are candidates of appriciation, or those of which who he dubs as “professionals”, those of which have a say in the art community. Where as Blizek sees it as a candidate could be anyone who has places value on a artwork and that every person is a candidate for “professional”. He goes on to say that Dickies theory would only let a certain group of interests into the art world if there were only “true professionals”, which would make limitations on Dickie’s goal, the idea that it would provide greater freedom and creativity to the art world. He believes Dickie would not be able to readily deny the power to react to the status of a single individual. Blizek is upset that there is no way for Dickie to distinguish between appreciation in the case of art and then appreciation in general. He thinks that creativity is the key to expanding the variety of art, but there has to be a condition for it.

I think Dickie would not be able to make a very good case against all the criticism that Blizek lays upon him due to in all his definition of appreciation is so vague. He would argue that a work...
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