What is art?

“To the question – What is art? – we might respond in jest (but it would not be such a foolish jest) that art is what everyone knows it to be. And in truth, if in some way we were not to know what it is, we could not even ask the question, because every question implies a certain knowledge of what is being asked, designated by the question, and therefore qualified and known. (…)

But he remains unperturbed and continues along his own path, because he does not ignore the fact that the question on what is art (as with every philosophical question on the nature of the real or of knowledge in general) – if even, in the choice of words, the question takes on the aspect of a general and total problem, which is expected to be resolved for the first and last time – always actually has a circumstantial meaning, referable to the particular difficulties that arise in a particular moment in the history of thought.”

Benedetto Croce

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