Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2018

Aesthetics and Philosophies of Art

Zsolt Bátori
Pages 39-45

Is Conceptual Art an Art Form?

In this paper, I consider the account of conceptual art that regards such works as being unique and singular pieces of artworks that belong to a specific art form. I argue that the art form theory of conceptual art is mistaken for it fails to provide a sufficient explanation of the role of the specific contents (ideas) of what this theory considers to be unique and singular works of the art form (conceptual art). After the explication and criticism of the art form theory of conceptual art I will suggest a different account. The single artwork theory of conceptual art I propose denies that conceptual art is an art form; instead, it considers conceptual art to be one single work of art with numerous token executions (performances) of the work as a type. The advantage of my proposal over the art form theory will be that both contents of specific execution tokens and the relation of these tokens to the unique and singular work as a type will be adequately explained without the disadvantages of the art form theory of conceptual art.