Volume 1, 2018
Aesthetics and Philosophies of Art
Philosophy of Art and the Art of Cinema
Even if it is easier to see a branch of art by looking at particular works of art, to define the features of a branch of art is different from to define the feature of art in general. Even if the essence of art can only be investigated by considering what art is in general, the only thing that remains concretely visible are individual works of art. Nevertheless, it is the art in general – not merely any particular branch of art– what is to be defined, when we do philosophy of art. Particular works of art and the essence of art constitute two different poles seen thorough different perspectives. These two perspectives are constituted by the concept of art as skill and the concept of art as fiction about human possibilities. Since some philosophers, who investigate what art is, are not able to handle both poles simultaneously, they unwittingly investigate art from within one of these perspectives. Most of the problems in the philosophy of art arise from this unwitting one sidedness. This is at issue in the philosophy of cinema as well. The debate between Bill Nichols and Carl R. Plantinga on the characteristics of documentary seems to be an example of that problem.