Collingwood and ‘Art Proper’: From Idealism to Consistency

Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 52 (2):152-163 (2015)
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Collingwood’s ‘art-proper’ definition has been controversial. Wollheim argues that his Theory of Imagination assumes that the nature of the artwork exists solely in the mind, committing him to the Ideal Theory. Consequently, when Collingwood states that the audience is essential for the artist and the artwork, he is being inconsistent. In contrast, Ridley claims that Collingwood’s Expression Theory saves him from Wollheim’s accusations; hence he is consistent and does not support the Ideal Theory. I demonstrate that Collingwood both adheres to the Ideal Theory and is consistent in his art theory. I show that imagination is the sufficient condition of art and expression is the process of art’s coming into existence. I argue that Collingwood is consistent in his theory because the audience and the externalization of the work are needed for an appreciation and understanding of the artwork as either good or bad, as either a work of a corrupt consciousness or not. Hence, an account of the role of externalization is a contribution to the epistemology, not the ontology, of art



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References found in this work

The idea of history.Robin George Collingwood - 1947 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by der Dussen & J. W..
The Idea of History.R. G. Collingwood - 1946 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):252-253.
Robin George Collingwood.Giuseppina D'Oro & James Connelly - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
An Essay on Philosophical Method.R. G. Collingwood - 1934 - Philosophy 9 (35):350-352.
Robin George Collingwood.Giuseppina D'Oro & James Connelly - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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