How the Arts Have Value: Contra Carey

By Daniel Shannon.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper considers John Carey’s case that the arts have no value; in particular his rejection of John Ruskin’s and Immanuel Kant’s treatments of art. I show, against Carey, that Ruskin has a cogent argument that art has inherent value in light of its connection to religion, morality, and use. I also show that Kant is likely to be correct that art has value when it satisfies us in its symbolic use when we enter a “world” in order to interpret or understand it. Since both Ruskin and Kant are more successful in their respective treatments of art than Carey is, we should conclude that Carey’s case fails.

Keywords: Art, Good, Carey, Use, Morality, Religion, Ruskin, Kant

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.37-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 533.746KB).

Prof. Daniel Shannon

Professor, Department of Philosophy, DePauw University, USA

He is a professor of philosophy at DePauw University, specializing in Continental Philosophy and the Philosophy of Art. His most recent publication is The Challenges of Globalization(Blackwell, 2007).


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