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By Gregory Currie (auth.)

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Sample text

Their having distinct aesthetic properties depends crucially on the assumption that they belong to different categories of art. 10). We have similar independence of production in the case of the comparison between Guernica and the Martian child's modest efforts that happen to look the same. In that case, aesthetic difference was a function of differential levels of community skill. At this point one might offer the following simple argument. While it required great ability for Picasso to paint Guernica, it requires no ability to feed that painting into a machine that produces indistinguishable copies of it.

In that case the example is a counter-example to empiricism exactly because the empiricist refuses to acknowledge the dependence of aesthetic features on the work's history of production. 7. HOW TO RELATIVISE AESTHETIC PROPERTIES One obvious response to this counter-example that the empiricist can offer is this. Aesthetic properties are, when properly understood, relative to a category. That is, one cannot simply say that a work is dynamic or non-dynamic; one must say instead that it is dynamic as a painting, or non-dynamic as a guemica.

A work will be dynamic simpliciter if it is dynamic for a K, for every category K to which it belongs. We may then say, truly, that GI is dynamic simpliciter, exactly because there happens to be no category to which it actually belongs and with respect to which it fails to be dynamic. These results will be applied in the next section. 8. MOVING FURTHER AWAY FROM EMPIRICISM With this correction in mind, let us return to Walton's main thesis. The thesis is that the aesthetic properties of a work supervene on its pictorial properties, together with the category of art to which it belongs.

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