Monday, 1 April 2019, David Davies (McGill University), “Artistic value(s) and the value of art: a non-aestheticist account of artistic value”

Venue: Sala Stefanini, Piazza Capitaniato, 3 – Padova, 16.30-18.30

The talk will be live-streamed and will remain available on YouTube. Remote participants can watch the live webcast and ask questions using the YouTube Live chat channel.

Abstract: Philosophical debates about ‘artistic value’ examine the kinds of values that artworks have and ask which of these values bear upon the appreciation of worksas such. What one takes to contribute to artistic value depends upon one’s conception of what makes something art. On standard ‘aestheticist’ conceptions, what makes an artifact an artwork is that it is intended to be appreciated ‘for its own sake’: artistic value is then the value it has when so treated. Aestheticist conceptions of artistic value also understand the latter as experiential. On this conception, it is difficult to see how instrumental and achievement value can be part of artistic value, and for many this also applies to cognitive and ethical value. I explore these debates, and develop and defend an alternative conception of artistic value, grounded in an alternative conception of what makes something a work of art. On this conception, artworks are distinguished by the way in which they are designed to perform whatever may be their intended functions. Artistic value is then a matter of performing a given function well in virtue of performing it in the ways distinctive of artworks.

The Aesthetics Lecture Series is part of the Analytic Philosophy and Philosophy of Art Graduate Seminar organized by Prof. Massimiliano Carrara, Prof. Giuseppe Spolaore, Prof. Gabriele Tomasi, Dr. Elisa Caldarola, and Dr. Vittorio Morato for the academic year 2018-2019 at the FISPPA Department (Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy, and Applied Psychology) of the University of Padova, Italy.

The Aesthetics Lecture Series is funded by the University of Padova through the initiative “Supporting TAlent in ReSearch@University of Padova” – STARS Grants (Starting Grant 2018-2020, APAI – “A Philosophy of Art Installation”, P.I. Dr. Elisa Caldarola).



Elisa Caldarola (2019), “Assessing the Intellectual Value of New Genre Public Art”, Open Philosophy, 2(1): 22-29.


Here you can find the paper.


Suzanne Lacy introduced the term ‘New Genre Public Art’ (NGPA) to refer to art practices that depart from those traditional of public art (such as installing works in parks and plazas) and focus instead on the direct engagement of artists with audiences to deal with pressing socio-political issues. In this paper, I argue that some works of NGPA should be valued for the intellectual value grounded in their artistic features, not dissimilarly to works of conceptual art. In developing my argument, I take distance from Vid Simoniti’s recent account of ‘Socially Engaged Art’, offer a thorough analysis of Thomas Hirschhorn’s Bataille Monument (2002) and Kathrin Bohm’s and Stefan Saffer’s Mobile Porch (1999), and submit that both such works qualify as good works of NGPA.

Thomas Hirschhorn, Bataille Monument (2002), copyright: Thomas Hirschhorn,  Fair Use (