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Re: definitions



At the risk of boring the list--Jeff Peachy and I could
carry on privately--let me respond briefly.

Yes, philosophers would link "intention" to human agency:
an intentional act is one committed/made/done by a human
being.  Whether a fact is intentional or not may not be
easy to decide (by either the actor or by observers), but
it is certainly not arbitrary or purely subjective.  So,
if someone *says* "yes, I made this object for purely
aesthetic reasons and I claim it is art", that counts as
evidence, but we may still have reason to think the 
speaker is wrong (or lying or confused or deluded, etc).

Judging intention is something we all do all the time,
and mostly pretty accurately--but if you push the
envelope here you can confuse yourself pretty thoroughly.

But, again, accepting that an object is "art" -- the
expression of the right sort of intentions -- bears not
at all on its goodness, beauty, ugliness, color, etc.
And for the most part, it is those qualities of objects
which it is interesting to discuss.  What makes a good
binding? What a bad?  But resist the temptation to claim
"this binding is *so bad* it really isn't a binding.
That leads back to the what is/what isn't--not likely
to be productive--and away from what/why is something
interesting/good/wonderful/ingenious/pleasing/etc.

Hope this is helpful.  I'm writing fast and the distinctions
here can get away from you quickly.

Sid Huttner, Tulsa


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