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Although few philosophers agree about what it is for something to be art, most, if not all, agree on one thing: art must be in some sense intention dependent. Art and Art-Attempts is about what follows from taking intention dependence seriously as a substantive necessary condition for something's being art. Christy Mag Uidhir argues that from the assumption that art must be the product of intentional action, along with basic action-theoretic account of attempts (goal-oriented intention-directed activity), follows a host of sweeping implications for philosophical enquiry into the nature of art and its principal relata such as authorship, art forms, and art ontology: e.g., DT An informative distinction between art, non-art, and failed-art that any viable theory of art must capture. DT A far more productive minimal framework for authorship not only capable of systematically addressing issues of collective authorship appropriation, etc. but also one according to which artists just are authors. DT A coherent and structurally precise account of art forms based upon the relation between artists, artworks, and the sortal properties thereof. DT A unified and far less metaphysically suspect ontology of art according to which if there are such things as artworks, then artworks must be concrete things. Ultimately, Mag Uidhir aims neither to propose nor to defend any particular, precise answer to the question "What is art?" Instead, he shows the ways in which taking intention-dependence seriously as a substantive necessary condition for being art can be profoundly revelatory, and perhaps even radically revisionary, as to the scope and limits of what any particular, precise answer to such a question could viably be.
Christy Mag Uidhir is an assistant professor of philosophy at The University of Houston. His main area of research is the philosophy of art. He is the author of numerous articles in such journals as Philosophers' Imprint, Philosophical Studies, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, AmericanPhilosophical Quarterly, The British Journal of Aesthetics, and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, and is also the editor of the volume Art and Abstract Objects (Oxford University Press).