Machine Art or Machine Artists?: Dennett, Danto, and the Expressive Stance

Linson, Adam (2016). Machine Art or Machine Artists?: Dennett, Danto, and the Expressive Stance. In: Müller, Vincent C. ed. Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence. Synthese Library (376). Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 443–458.



As art produced by autonomous machines becomes increasingly common, and as such machines grow increasingly sophisticated, we risk a confusion between art produced by a person but mediated by a machine, and art produced by what might be legitimately considered a machine artist. This distinction will be examined here. In particular, my argument seeks to close a gap between, on one hand, a philosophically grounded theory of art and, on the other hand, theories concerned with behavior, intentionality, expression, and creativity in natural and artificial agents. This latter set of theories in some cases addresses creative behavior in relation to visual art, music, and literature, in the frequently overlapping contexts of philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science. However, research in these areas does not typically address problems in the philosophy of art as a central line of inquiry. Similarly, the philosophy of art does not typically address issues pertaining to artificial agents.

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