We have all heard photographers claiming photography is art, but what is art really? Moreover, who has the right to define it in the first place?
Art is probably one of the most discussed words on planet Earth and a great many artists, thinkers, and philosophers have tried to make a finite definition of the concept. With a background in educational philosophy, I have learned firsthand how hard it is to make a definite statement about anything.
In the above video from the brilliant YouTube channel PhilosophyTube, Olly introduces us to aesthetics and art. Without giving us an exact answer – after all, he is a student of philosophy – he shares some different theories on what the concept of art is. Essentialism, functionalism, institutional theories, historical definitions, anti-essentialism, and pluralism. Do these words make you want to pull your hair out? Do not worry, Olly guides us through the theories and even explain why he prefers one to the others.
In addition, why even have a definition? When is art, art and when is it “just” a craft? When does a craft become art? So many questions!
What theory do you resonate with? Are you an artist or are you an artisan? Check out the video and let me hear your thoughts.