6. Now we will try to explain the Problem of Indiscernible Counterparts posed by Andy Warhol's "Brillo Boxes" (1964). What does this problem have to do with the question "What is art?" In addition we will try to understand how does Danto's appeal to "the art world" address this problem?
The Brillo Boxes are a piece of art which Warhol created in the sixties as part of his attempt to make a point about industrialization, the role of art in everyday life and the mechanisms through which art is rendered exactly what it is. Basically he created dozens of this type of boxes. Afterwards he created wooden replicas of the original pieces, painting them and silkscreening the images and the commercial texts. The final result had the second round of creations virtually indistinguishable from the first round ones. The question which Warhol was putting to people and society in general was: What is the difference between the Brillo boxes, the ordinary ones and the Brillo boxes which he made? Why was one a work of art while the other was not?
The differences between the real boxes and the ones created by the artist were so small that they could not justify the different perception which occurred. Danto had argued that art objects derive their quality from the fact that they differ so much from things which we associate with every day life, or in other words, with the common things. But Warhol demonstrated just the opposite. It is therefore the interpretation that people give to an object that which makes it art or not. Under these circumstances the very process of creation is to be viewed from another perspective, if the condition of art is no longer decided a priori.
7. Taking into account Tolstoy's theory, we will now try to understand how art succeeds to "infect" its audience. In addition we will try to understand what are the features that make a work of art more infectious, why does Tolstoy think that it is inartistic to deliberately produce certain effects in an audience. Last but not least we will try to answer what does a genuine artwork do if not produce its effects deliberately?
According to the Russian author, while trying to define art one must keep away from concepts such as beauty, truth or goodness, just like other authors, artists and philosophers have done in the past and concentrate upon other more relevant aspects. These relevant aspects had at their core the emotional impact that art could have upon the audience. Art installs an emotional link between the viewer and the art object. The object therefore infects the viewer. Since the audience is fully contaminated, then it could be stated that art unites people through this type of communication process. But is there such a thing as good art and bad art?
The author declares that this type of differentiation is useless since people are not actually able to do it. The only thing that matters is the fact that art infects the audiences. The more powerful the infection, the stronger the value and the character of the art piece involved. Art becomes more infectious if it manages to deal with issues which are sensitive and more likely to touch people in their soft spots, achieving a relevant effect.
To produce positive effects such as a feeling of brotherhood is artistically good. Producing effects which are not Christian on the other hand is something which belongs to bad art. The answer to the last question is more than obvious. While the interpretation of a piece of art depends on the capacities of the viewer and his momentary interests, the artist's goal when creating must be clear.
8. Now we will explain why Hume thinks there is a standard of taste as opposed to wholesale relativism. Other questions we will answer are: What is the standard according to Hume? What does this standard have to do with human nature? It is plausible that there is such a standard? Why or why not?
Hume believes that when a piece of art is created, its creator had a very definite purpose on his mind. Yes, there can exist art which is produced only because of the pleasure which the creation act provides, but this case is so limited that it can not be taken into consideration when making a deeper analysis regarding the work of art. The main issue under discussion is represented by beauty. According to the philosopher beauty is not an intrinsic characteristic. In other words, beauty is not a property which can be associated directly with things. However, the manner in which people perceive things is not the same for everybody. Some people have more developed capacities to understand and value things than others. What happens under these circumstances to the value of the art work? Apparently it depends upon the standards of evaluation which people have.
But these standards are believed to be sentiments. Consequently the implications that being so subjective, they are also distant from the truth. On the one hand the standard is closely connected to human nature. On the other hand, considering all the differences which can be registered between people, it is difficult to render this standard universal and profoundly humane. However we must underline that the subjectivism which Hume underlines in his beliefs is not one which favor relativism. Therefore from a certain point-of-view it is difficult to accept the existence of such a standard.
9.In this page we explain Kant's distinction between the three kinds of liking and why does Kant say that expressions of aesthetic liking are a matter of speaking with a "universal voice" given that people notoriously disagree about aesthetic matters.
Kant distinguishes between three types of liking. According to him each of the category is formed through a consensus process. Under these circumstances we have: That which is agreeable by a liking which is determined by certain stimuli, but also that which is good or can be practical based upon the very existence of the object. It must be however mentioned that the judgments of taste belong to the area of contemplation because they are not based on concepts. Once again we are dealing with a situation in which the aesthetic value of the art piece does not belong intrinsically to it, but depends upon the faculties of the contemplation process and of the individual performing it.
The beauty is a characteristic which belongs to the object, but it is our role to perceive it. Since beauty belongs to the beautiful object, we can think about an universal voice which can be conceived under these circumstance sonly. This universal voice is an idea. People might reach a consensus and agree upon the judgment of the object, agreeing upon its beauty.
Therefore beauty exists regardless of us and regardless of our perception. However, since reality for us is determined by the things which we perceive, we can state that beauty exists only for those who will perceive it, ultimately. Its existence outside the realms of our perceptions is supported by the fact that its role is not to serve a purpose of our reason, but simply to please those actually perceiving it.
10. In Plato's dialogue, the Ion, what does Socrates mean by knowledge? Why does Socrates deny that the rhapsode (a performer of poetry) has any knowledge of what he speaks about? How does Plato explain the power of poetry, if not in terms of knowledge?
The discussion in Ion regards the mechanisms which allow the poet to perform his art. Socrates is keen to know and to demonstrate whether the performance of the art derives from a natural talent, therefore being based upon the capacities, the skills, the knowledge and the understanding of the man involved in the process or if on the contrary he is just the instrument for some divine intervention manifesting itself. As far as Ion is concerned Socrates declares that he demonstrated his lack of skill and that therefore his art has no alternative than being the result of a divine possession.
Through Socrate's character, Plato wishes to demonstrate that what Ion doe scan not be considered the result, that is a definable body of knowledge based upon certain skills. Art can be only the result of the inspiration which the muses bring. Therefore the relation between art and knowledge is something considers to be impossible. If such is the case then it results that the poet is merely a medium of communication of a message which is situated beyond him and of which he has little understanding. The power of poetry therefore relies not upon knowledge, but upon the capacity to touch people, communicating the "divine" message which would not be comprehended otherwise. Under these circumstances man must not interfere through his thoughts or internal conflicts which might damage the message, but maintain a relation of…