By Gregory Currie (auth.)
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Extra resources for An Ontology of Art
But for now let us note that my modification of Walton's theory does not really involve adding a third clause. Rather we can subsume category considerations under the more general heading of history of production. For as I have said, one of the things that we need to know in order to understand the artist's achievement in producing the work is what artistic conventions and limitations the artist was accepting. And knowing what category the work belongs to is part of knowing what those conventions and limitations are.
Thus the late Cubist Demoiselles and the psuedo-Giotto are indiscernible, aesthetically, from the early Demoiselles and the genuine Giotto respectively, but they are considerably less important from the point of view of art history. We might sum up this line of thought by saying that, while a late Demoiselles would be a much less interesting achievement for Picasso than an early one, and while the faker's achievement in producing the psuedo-Giotto would be much less significant than Giotto's in producing the same picture, a work's aesthetic properties are independent of the artist's achievement.
Attributions of aesthetic properties cannot be 'reduced to' attributions of pictOrial properties. 4 Sibley argued first of all that aesthetic properties are not 'condition governed'. We cannot give necessary and sufficient conditions for their application in non-aesthetic terms. We cannot say that a line is graceful if and only if it has such and such a shape, and we cannot say that a pattern of colours is vibrant if and only if it consists of certain colours in certain spatial relations. There are indefmitely many different lines that may be graceful, and the gracefulness of a given line may be partly a function of the shapes of other lines with which it is juxtaposed.