South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):600-612 (2012)

Servaas van der Berg
University of British Columbia (PhD)
Nelson Goodman’s attempt to analyse the expressiveness of artworks in semantic terms has been widely criticised. In this paper I try to show how the use of an adapted version of his concept of exemplification, as proposed by Mark Textor, can help to alleviate the worst problems with his theory of expression. More particularly I argue that the recognition of an intention, which is central to Textor’s account of exemplification, is also fundamental to our understanding of expressiveness in art. Moreover I propose that the recognition of this intention depends on our interpretation of the artwork – an insight Goodman tried to capture with his assertion that our attributions of expressive properties to artworks function metaphorically. The realisation of the context-dependence of our expressive judgements about art and, hence, of the central role interpretation plays in these judgements, I contend, counts in favour of theories of expression like Goodman’s that focus on semantic concerns.
Keywords Aesthetics  Expression  Goodman  Matravers  Textor  Expressiveness  Art
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2012
DOI 10.1080/02580136.2012.10751795
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,066
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Painting as an Art.Richard Wollheim - 1987 - Thames & Hudson.
Art and Emotion.Derek Matravers - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Pictures and Make-Believe.Kendall L. Walton - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (3):283-319.
Metaphor as Moonlighting.Nelson Goodman - 1979 - Critical Inquiry 6 (1):125-130.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

In a Silent Way.Erik Anderson - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Culture 12 (1).

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Samples as Symbols.Mark Textor - 2008 - Ratio 21 (3):344-359.
Languages of Art and Art Criticism.Monroe C. Beardsley - 1978 - Erkenntnis 12 (1):95 - 118.
Using Goodman to Explore Historical Representation.Eugen Zeleňák - 2013 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 7 (3):371-395.
Goodman on the Concept of Style.D. Jacquette - 2000 - British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (4):452-466.
Goodman's Only World.Vladan Djordjevic - 2012 - In Majda Trobok, Nenad Miscevic & Berislav Zarnic (eds.), Between Logic and Reality: Modeling Inference, Action and Understanding. Springer. pp. 269.
Metaphorical Meaning and its Interpretations.T. Kulka - 2006 - Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aestetics 42 (1-3):64-79.
Nelson Goodman's ‘Languages of Art’: A Study.Anthony Savile - 1971 - British Journal of Aesthetics 11 (1):3-27.
Meaning and Metatheory.Jason Stanley - 1995 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Artistic Expression.John Hospers - 1971 - New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
The 'Umbau' - From Constitution Theory to Constructional Ontology.Johanna Seibt - 1997 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 14 (3):305 - 348.
Peirce, Goodman and the Aesthetic Sign.Risto Hilpinen - 1990 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 37 (1):177-184.


Added to PP index

Total views
261 ( #40,940 of 2,498,786 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #279,813 of 2,498,786 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes