the Art Question by Nigel Warburton Routledge (2003) Paperback
While the design of this book is appealing, with the French flaps and the minimalistic frame cover, the content was somewhat disappointing. Warburton begins by going over some seemingly ‘incorrect’ ways of defining art, which sort of put me off and made me wonder if Warburton will ever write about a ‘correct’ way to approach art at all. After trudging through a long back and forth of tiresome refutations between many philosophers about the art question, I finally come to Warburton’s answer, which is largely that the art question is ‘not answerable’ and better left to be thought of individually. So to each his own, and it’s a great compilation of historical thoughts about art, but I feel a bit duped. Why did I spend so much time reading when I could have been looking at art and coming up with a theory that applies to only myself, as Warburton encourages his readers to do? Great design, but a bit misleading. I think the answer to the art question can be found, and applied, not in speculation so much, but in why people continue to invest time and energy in looking at art, with less analyzing of many art critics’ back and forth bantering, and more delving into the facts of mass art appreciation and why.