I would like to know what exactly is an art. Can we consider an act of murdering without getting caught as an art? Can we consider an act of inflaming the crowd or mob for mass destruction an art? Then can criminals also be called artists? I want to know what is the length & breadth of the art. When any act becomes an art? What is the criteria?

closed as off-topic by Swami Vishwananda, Mauro ALLEGRANZA, Nick R, Thomas Klimpel, Not_Here Oct 7 '17 at 23:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "While this question may be related to philosophy or occur in a philosophical context, the question itself doesn't seem to be about philosophy, and is therefore not a good fit for our site." – Swami Vishwananda, Thomas Klimpel, Not_Here
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    By "an art", do you mean "an art form"? As in painting, music, etc. are art forms? – Not_Here Oct 2 '17 at 17:48
  • 1
    Yes @Not_Here , You can edit as per requirement. I am moderate in English. – Mr. Sigma. Oct 2 '17 at 17:50
  • 1
    What you said is perfectly fine, I just wanted to make sure! – Not_Here Oct 2 '17 at 17:53
  • 1
    "can criminals also be called artists? " ?????????? – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Oct 3 '17 at 7:46
  • 2
    Criminals are frequently called "con artists".... – Alexander S King Oct 3 '17 at 19:05

Art is a vague term without definite boundaries. People use the term for many things, including representing something meaningful in some way or a sophisticated thoughtful way of doing something. Some people believe it requires some sort of developed skill to create something sensually stimulating with the intent of being art, although others can disagree about its status as art and its quality based on personal preferences. Usually, it is a set of stimuli for the intent of evoking some kind of reaction, pleasant, meaningful, or something else. Although it is also used to describe an application of skills. For example, some say psychotherapy is some science but also an art form when it is done well.

If the average unskilled person can easily do it and it isn't anything original or interesting, it probably wouldn't be considered art by very many (e.g., destructive or criminal activities).

  • I personally likes your question but is personal opinions allowed on this platform as an answer? – Mr. Sigma. Apr 12 '18 at 17:50
  • I’m not sure there are definite uncontroversial answers to many or most of the philosophical questions. Sometimes a suitable answer for me from a philosopher can be just sharing the way they understand something I am puzzled about in simple terms. From a physical standpoint a 🎨 painting you find to be beautiful is just a canvas and colorful paint. The meaning you derive from your experience of it is the most important part and is provided by you. Without an appreciative viewer the painting is just paint and canvas of little value. The real magic is in you and is ineffable. – Dan Boice Apr 13 '18 at 6:40

We may have two main approaches to the philosophical definition of Art:

A more "traditional" one, aimed at find the essence of Art, i.e. a property (or a limited collection of properties or features) able to characterize univocally artworks.

Following this approach, we cannot have too broad a characterization, that applies to all human "artifacts" or activities (e.g. crime).

Artworks may have at least expressive and formal properties, but a definition based on these "minimal" criteria must consider e.g. human faces and gestures, that have expressive properties without being works of art, as well as natural objects that have formal properties but are not artworks.

A different approach is based on the Wittgensteininan concept of family resemblance (German: Familienähnlichkeit):

"things which could be thought to be connected by one essential common feature may in fact be connected by a series of overlapping similarities, where no one feature is common to all of the things."

According to this approach, we cannot aim at a definition that "pick up" the essence of Art; the phenomena of art are, by their nature, too diverse to admit of the unification that a satisfactory definition must impose on them.


Well, if it is art, then it's "performance art", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performance_art.   And indeed, one of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guillermo_G%C3%B3mez-Pe%C3%B1a performances involved biting the head off a live chicken. That, however, was in the context of making a multi-cultural point, not violence/criminality for its own sake (at least I don't think so).

Now, if your question follows on the heels of https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-shooting.html, then I don't think you'll get much sympathy. Maybe when that moron shot himself, >>that<< was a "performance".

But a much better case for "suicide as performance" is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohamed_Bouazizi who set himself on fire, thus starting the entire Arab Spring movement. Hard to imagine a performance with more significant consequences.

So if "suicide as performance" can somehow be argued, then "murder as performance" is just the next step down that slippery slope. And I imagine ISIS/terrorists would argue taking such steps. They might say that they're just like Guillermo Gómez-Peña writ large, in a manner of speaking.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.