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The Limits of Art

On Borderline Cases of Artworks and their Aesthetic Properties

  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2021

You have full access to this open access Book


  • Approaches the topic in a comprehensive way
  • Scrutinizes the question of what counts as art (or not), and the nature of these definitions
  • Takes an original approach by studying extended cases of art in general
  • Is an open access book

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Philosophy (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)

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Table of contents (4 chapters)


About this book

This open access book is about exploring interesting borderline cases of art. It discusses the cases of gustatory and olfactory artworks (focusing on food), proprioceptive artworks (dance, martial arts, and rock climbing qua proprioceptive experiences), intellectual artworks (philosophical and scientific theories), as well as the vague limits between painting and photography. 

The book focuses on the author’s research about what counts as art and what does not, as well as on the nature of these limits. Overall, the author defends a very inclusive view, 'extending' the limits of art, and he argues for its virtues. Some of the limits discussed concern our senses (our different perceptual modalities), some concern vagueness and fuzzy boundaries between different types of works of art, some concern the amount of human intention and intervention in the process of creation of an artwork, and some concern the border between art and science. In these various ways,by understanding better such borderline cases, Benovsky suggests that we get a better grip on an understanding of the nature of art.

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland

    Jiri Benovsky

About the author

Having been struck by Descartes’ “evil demon” thought experiment, Jiri Benovsky began studying metaphysics to try to find proof that the world really exists. Though he didn’t find that proof, at least he found an academic way to live where he can not only go climbing and skiing in the mountains but also spend his days thinking about existence, reality, time, art, and the aesthetics of gourmet meals, rock climbing, or photography. He is the author of several books, including recently: “Eliminativism, objects, and persons. The virtues of non-existence” (Routledge, 2018), “Mind and matter. Panpsychism, dual-aspect monism, and the combination problem” (2018, Springer), and “Meta-metaphysics” (2016, Springer). More information on Benovsky’s work can be found online at

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Limits of Art

  • Book Subtitle: On Borderline Cases of Artworks and their Aesthetic Properties

  • Authors: Jiri Benovsky

  • Series Title: SpringerBriefs in Philosophy

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Religion and Philosophy, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-54794-3Published: 19 August 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-54795-0Published: 18 August 2020

  • Series ISSN: 2211-4548

  • Series E-ISSN: 2211-4556

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: IX, 57

  • Number of Illustrations: 11 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Analytic Philosophy, Aesthetics, Fine Arts

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