Abstract and Keywords
Ontology is the study of the kinds of things there are in the world. The ontology of art considers the matter, form, and mode in which art exists. Works of art are social constructs in the sense that they are not natural kinds but human creations. The way we categorize them depends on our interests, and to that extent ontology is not easily separated from sociology and ideology. Nevertheless, some classifications and interests are likely to be more revealing of why and how art is created and appreciated. There are a number of traditional classifications of the arts, for instance in terms of their media (stone, words, sounds, paint, etc.), their species (sculpture, literature, music, drama, ballet, etc.), or their styles or contents (tragedy, comedy, surrealism, impressionism, etc.). The ontology of works of art does not map neatly on to these classifications, however.
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