On Wines as Works of Art
Author: Tomasi, Gabriele
Source: Rivista di estetica, Volume 52, Number 51, October 2012 , pp. 155-174(20)
Publisher: Rosenberg & Sellier
Abstract:It is a fact that wine tasting can at times take the form of an aesthetic experience and that many wines can be regarded as proper aesthetic objects. Can we consider wines works of art, then? This is the question I explore in this essay. I have reservations towards a positive answer to the question, but I think their nature is psychological or cultural, rather than theoretical. From a theoretical point of view we probably have sufficient reasons to claim that high quality wines are artworks: in this essay I try to lay out those reasons. My remarks are based on the discussion of three key points: (a) the artifactual nature of wine, (b) a version of the aesthetic theory of art, and (c) the metaphysical view Nick Zangwill calls 'Aesthetic Functionalism'. According to this view, in order to be an artwork an object must have originated in an insight concerning the fact that certain aesthetic properties would be realized by certain non-aesthetic properties. The thesis I defend is that a certain wine is an artwork if and only if it has been produced with the intention to realize certain aesthetic properties in other, non-aesthetic properties, i.e.in the smell and taste of the wine, on the ground of an insight into the dependence of the former on the latter.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 2012
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