Ontology of Art
The specialized areas of philosophy – that is, the philosophy of the mind, of language, of music, of science, of history, of law or of religion – are generally distinguished by a clear disciplinary identity. In all of the aforementioned cases, philosophy has a precise and detailed objective: history, science, music, law, language or even ourselves, insofar as we are beings gifted in mind and in thought.
The philosophy of art is no exception. If we were to ask an average cultured person, someone not particularly experienced in philosophy – a sort of ingenuous philosopher endowed with a robust common sense – what they would expect to find in a book on the philosophy of art, they would most probably answer that they would expect to read a reflection, in essay format, whose object is art and the products of art. Quite simple, really. The task of answering questions such as: ‘what is art?’, ‘what is an artwork?’, ‘what is beauty?’, “what is the difference between a common object and an artwork?’, “what is a fictional character?”, “what is music?” and so on, would be reserved for the philosophy of art.