Anti-Anti-Essentialism About Art
The successful specification of the definition of art has so far proven elusive. Discouraged by repeated failed attempts at the definition of art, numerous anti-essentialist philosophers have suggested alternative accounts (for example, Dominic McIver Lopes, Kathleen Stock and Berys Gaut). In this paper I defend the project of the definition of art by arguing that the strongest anti-essentialist arguments are unsuccessful in ruling out either the possibility or the value of a definition of art. Based on my observations regarding a blind spot in Wittgenstein’s anti-essentialist “look and see” approach, I conclude by suggesting a new avenue of investigation for essentialism regarding art.