Paper Information

Journal:   PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATIONS   FALL 2017-WINTER 2018 , Volume 13 , Number 32 #F0046; Page(s) 179 To 203.
 
Paper: 

ON THE QUIDDITY OF “ISLAMIC ART”

 
 
Author(s):  KARAMI MOHSEN*
 
* SCIENCE AND RESEARCH BRANCH, ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

In the recent decades, some people have tried to define ‘Islamic art’, but seemingly these efforts have not led to an obvious definition and explanation. In this article, we claim that it would be better to retreat and, before trying to make a definition of ‘Islamic art’, to philosophically analyze this concept. Then, by means of this method, we would clarify that, in order to be able to speak justifiably of ‘Islamic art’, about what fundamental problems we should determine our positions first; problems such as: “What is the meaning of ‘art’ in ‘Islamic art’?” “Does ‘art’ has the capacity to ascribe ‘Islamic’ to it?” “Which definition of art does ‘Islamic Art’ demand?” “What is the relation of ‘Islamic art’ to beauty?” Contemplation on these problems has, at least, this benefit that it makes clear the limits to be observed in order to speak of ‘Islamic art’ and to make a definition of it. Firstly, not every definition of art can be considered as a foundation, because according to some conceptions of art it may conflict with ‘being Islamic’. Secondly, ‘Islamic art’ must determine its position, specifically its ontological position, towards the concept of beauty: Is beauty the objective quality of things or their subjective quality? The critical problems here are that, on the one hand, accepting that beauty is subjective conflicts with the essential beauty of God in Islam; and, on the other hand, accepting that beauty is objective leads us to some theoretical difficulties. Therefore, the advocate of ‘Islamic art’ must overcome both problems. And thirdly, not any adjective can be ascribed to any noun, and there are some considerable limits as such. Therefore, such limits must be considered in ascribing ‘Islamic’ to ‘art’.

 
Keyword(s): ISLAMIC ART, ART, ISLAM, SUBJECTIVE, OBJECTIVE
 
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