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Is the natural human body considered art? I guess one would have to define art first, and in what context it is being called art. Also, who is the artist? The creators of the human, or the human? Perhaps art is simply creation with creative intent. Would the parents be the sculptors where the genes would create a piece of art, or is it only a canvas they created? What would some arguments be, for and against this idea?

September 30, 2010

Response from Charles Taliaferro on October 10, 2010
Well, some theists have considered all human beings as works of art, though in their view the real artist is God. And some artists have made art work out of their bodies (body art) and some philosophers (Nietzsche) have thought that one should view one's whole life as a work of art in which the person is the artist. But our current concepts of art would make it very difficult for parents to understand themselves as actually making artwork when they give birth to and raise children. Our art institutions (currently) have little room for framing or housing children to be observed (as in a gallery or museum or in a theatre or in nature as part of environmental or earth art). Perhaps, though, there is one sense in which a child may be considered LIKE a work of art insofar as it is natural to take aesthetic delight in one's child (finding her or him beautiful, for example). Still, the child has a life of his or her own, and thus the child would be profoundly different from actual works of art. For actual works of art are (more often than not) thought to be owned by the artist and they rarely have needs of their own, talk back to their creators, go to school, and eventually move out to have a life of their own.


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