The Agora Speaker Series is hosted by the School of Liberal Arts. Lectures presented as part of the series are free of charge and are open to members of the School of Liberal Arts, the University and the general public.
Agora Speaker Series 2021 - Associate Professor David Macarthur
Why Does Art Matter to Us?
The more fundamental question when considering art is not “What is art?” but “Why does art matter to us?” I assume that there is a philosophical answer to this question so that it is not all about money or social status.
I consider and reject three such answers: 1) art manifests God; 2) art improves us morally; and 3) art is pleasurable. The answer I propose is suggested by the striking analogy between art & the physical objects that realize them and minds & the physical objects (bodies) that embody them. That is, the art/object problem is an analogue of the mind/body problem. Art matters because it is a model of the self. I explore this answer in terms of the issues of artistic incomprehensibility, the freedom to respond, and love.