Works of Art &
Mere Real Things


Drawing on the reading, in particular Arthur Danto's The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, Michel Foucault's This Is Not a Pipe and your understanding of Andy Warhol's Brillo Box, what does it mean to write across a painting of a pipe "Ceci n'est pas une pipe?"

In the course of answering the question, you may wish to take a stab at answering several sub-questions: what is Magritte's painting about? what is it a painting of, what is the difference between a work of art such as Warhol's Brillo Box and the brillo box in the supermarket? is Warhol's Brillo Box analogous to Magritte's Pipe? might it serve as commentary on the Magritte?

Think of arguments that might be made against your "view" and respond to them. In thinking of objections to your understanding of the Magritte, 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 an opposing point of view 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.

Papers should be between five (5) and seven (7) pages in length or longer, if you think it is absolutely necessary, 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 7th at 10:00 AM for ALL SENIORS and by Wednesday at 4:00 PM for everyone else. Please hand your papers in at the Philosophy Department Main Office on the third floor of Rabb Graduate Center (Room 303).