An Ontology of Art, 1st Edition by Gregory Currie (auth.)

By Gregory Currie (auth.)

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4 Sibley argued first of all that aesthetic properties are not 'condition governed'. We cannot give necessary and sufficient conditions for their application in non-aesthetic terms. We cannot say that a line is graceful if and only if it has such and such a shape, and we cannot say that a pattern of colours is vibrant if and only if it consists of certain colours in certain spatial relations. There are indefmitely many different lines that may be graceful, and the gracefulness of a given line may be partly a function of the shapes of other lines with which it is juxtaposed.

Mental states must be, as we say, 'realisationally plastic': they can be realised by indefinitely many physical states. s Sibley's point was that the aesthetic properties of a picture are realisationally plastic with respect to its pictorial properties. All this seems to make the gap between pictorial properties and aesthetic properties wider. How does Sibley deal with the problem? His answer is to say that a picture has aesthetic properties which are not themselves pictorial properties in the strict sense, but which it has in virtue of the pictorial properties it has.

To say that a proposition is true simpliciter is to say that it is true in the actual world. In addition to these strict notions of possibility and necessity we Empiricism 23 have variants like nomic possibility and necessity. There are worlds that differ from the actual world in various ways but which nevertheless possess the same laws of nature as the actual world. Let N be the class of such worlds. We say, then, that a proposition is nomically possible (consistent with the laws of nature) if it is true in some world in N, and nOmically necessary (entailed by the laws of nature) if it is true in all worlds in N.

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