March 4, 2009

Defining Viability Historically: Political Community

My definitional outlook is similar, in goal, to another historical theory of defining in the field of Aesthetics, by name, Jerrold Levinson’s historical definition of art.  Simply put, an object is regarded as a work of art when it is a ‘thing that has been seriously intended for regard in any way preexisting or prior art works are or were correctly regarded.’(Levinson, Jerrold. "Defining Art Historically ." British Journal of Aesthetics 19, no. 3 (1979): 232-50)  For the viable presidential candidate we can reformulate this thesis as, ‘a candidate ought to be seriously intending to be regarded as a viable candidate in the same way that other candidates are or have been considered viable for the office.’  

Who does this regarding? This is where the institutional aspect of Levinson’s theory comes into play. When an object is produced by the same methods, which have been condoned by the art community, other art works have been created then that object can legitimately be called art. When a candidate frames his/her campaign (intends to be regarded as a viable candidate) s/he does so with methods that others employed in past campaigns, as approved by the political community. The visible portion of the political community is the popular press. So, when we wish to see if a candidates methods match, the methods of past candidacies, we should look at the popular press for support.

No comments: