Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 33, 2008

David E. W. Fenner
Pages 127-141

Formalism and the Consumable Arts

In a series of recent papers, Professor Nick Zangwill has returned our attention to the merits of aesthetic formalism. In this paper, I seek to support formalism as an approach to understanding what counts as an aesthetic property by considering how this approach serves to illuminate identity conditions and critical assessment of a subset of allographic works of art I label “consumable”; these are works that exist as token art objects (as contrasted with art works) only within the temporal duration of their being reproduced and presented to their audiences. I look at three sorts of consumable art forms: food, theater plays, and dance.