The power of art cannot be underestimated. It evokes human emotions – strong or weak, good or bad, ecstatic or melancholic – in its viewers. As Dostoevsky said, “Man thirsts for beauty.” He accepts it without conditions, bowing down before it without asking what it can do for him. But how do we know what’s beautiful? What makes it art? And why does it matter?
The answer is complex. A simple definition of art consists of “Z” + “Y”, where Z and Y are non-empty conjunctions or disjunctions. In other words, Z does not entail Y, but only the instantiation of either Y or Z suffices. There is a third condition, which prevents the classical definition from collapsing into a simplistic, self-contained concept.
Classical definitions are less freestanding and philosophically self-contained, as they often take contingent cultural features as fundamental. In contrast, classical definitions reverse this order and make traditional concepts more basic. They attempt to account for phenomena by making them more difficult to integrate. For these reasons, a simple definition of art cannot be used to explain what art is. It is necessary to define art in a way that makes it more accessible to a wider audience.
The relationship between the historical concept of art and the appreciative concept of art is asymmetrical. It is like the relation between Socrates’ diet and his health. Both of these concepts of art are radically different. Thus, a single concept of art may have multiple facets, but the multiplicity of art concepts is a unity when the core concept is central. Therefore, the traditional definition of the term is not enough to describe the work of art.
Despite its various functions, the use of art has been used to raise awareness for social causes. Some examples include autism, ocean conservation, human trafficking, and human rights in Darfur. Artists, philosophers, and other stakeholders have taken up the challenge of using art to raise awareness of these causes. However, there is no one universal definition of art. Nevertheless, artists and non-artists have all agreed to the value of art in our society.
In a definition of art, the two terms Z and Y must be non-empty, disjuncts are insufficient, and the subject is subjective. In other words, the term is a defining attribute of art. There are three main types of art: abstract and visual. For instance, a painting can be considered a representation of nature. The word ‘art’ is related to the Latin word “ars”.
Historically, the definition of art has been defined as a tool for communication. The three classical branches of visual art are painting, sculpture, and architecture. More broadly, the term also encompasses the performing arts, such as theater and music. A person’s response to art can vary dramatically, depending on their background and beliefs. So, it’s not uncommon for different people to have wildly different reactions to the same work of artwork. But it’s still very important to understand that each individual’s interpretation of art is unique.