Works of Art &
Mere Real Things


Drawing on the reading as well as your own considered good judgment and opinion, argue for or against a way of viewing works of art that distinguish such works from mere real things, from the ordinary and the everyday, from such things as brillo boxes, pipes, beds, flags, rhinos and beer cans. Think of the arguments that might be made against your arguments, and respond to them. In defending your position, offer what you believe are the most principled arguments you can make.

In thinking of objections to your opinion, think of the best possible objections that someone on the other side might come up with, i. e., give yourself a hard time. If you can respond to the other side at its strongest rather than at its weakest point, that can only help to strengthen your own opinion and make it that much more persuasive.

In the course of bringing what you believe is the best defense for your own position explicitly to light, provide the clearest expression of how the features you identify as serving to distinguish a work of art from some mere real thing does what you intend it to do and in the appropriate way.

The paper will be graded, but you are also given the opportunity to receive "extra credit" at the end of the Paper Topic. In order to receive "extra credit," which could improve any one of your graded papers, including this one, by a third of a grade, transforming, for examples, a B (3.0) into a B+ (3.3) or an A- (3.67) into an A (4.0), you must answer questions posed in the last section of the Paper Topic flagged "EXTRA CREDIT.".

Papers should be about six or seven (6-7) pages in length or longer, if you prefer, and double-spaced.

Please number pages.

We would like to have two copies, marked COPY ONE and COPY TWO.

Papers should be stapled, not held together by Paper CLIP, Elmer's GLUE, Dentyne GUM, SPIT, James BOND or Origami FOLD.

Final papers are due on Monday, May 10th at 10:00 AM for ALL SENIORS and by 4:30 PM on Friday, May 14th for everyone else. Please hand your papers in at the Philosophy Department Main Office on the third floor of Rabb Graduate Center (Room 303).