Art – Philosophical Definition

art philosophy

What is art to philosophy ?

Philosophy does not know what art is. Philosophy is only concerned about the function of art. In antiquity, the art was to express beauty. Plato nevertheless distrusted art because the artistic activity mimicked the real, and this constituted an illusion. Kant, himself, sought to establish the objectivity of art (“this is beautiful which pleases universally without a concept”, Critique of Judgement). In other words, the function of art was to idealize the real. Modern philosophers have separate “art” from “beauty” by giving it a function of mirror of the world. The art should be beautiful, but also authentic.

Specific definitions of philosophers:

Art by Aristotle: “The art (techne) is accompanied by a certain disposition rule true, capable of producing (Nicomachean Ethics)

Art by Kant:

“Art is distinguished from nature as to act or perform in general and the product or consequence of the first, the book is distinguished from the effects of even the second. The art or skill of man, also differs from science (like being able to know) (Critique of Judgement)

“The Fine Arts are arts genius” (Critique of Judgement)

Art by Schopenhauer: “Art is contemplation of things, independent of the principle of reason” (The World as Will and Representation)

Art by Nietzsche: “The essential in art is that it completes existence is that it generates perfection and fullness. The art is in essence affirmation, blessing , deification of existence “(The Will to Power)

Art by Heidegger: “The essence of art, truth is putting itself out” (Paths that lead nowhere)


Cite this article as: Tim, "Art – Philosophical Definition, May 1, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 1, 2012,

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