Philosophers: Is an artist's intention in a painting relevant to the assessment of the quality of the painting (or any work of art, for that matter)? Or is art to be assessed by itself? -Preston

I don't think anyone argues that the intention of the artist is linked with the quality of a work of art since if that was true my doodles are comparable to the best work of Leonardo da Vinci. It has been argued that intention is linked with the meaning of a work of art, while others think it is irrelevant what the artist had in mind.

I tend to agree with the idea that intention is irrelevant except in a historical sense where we are trying to understand how an artist operates. We can often assess objects aesthetically knowing nothing of the artist, the time they were made, for and by whom, and so intention cannot be a significant factor in appreciation of art.

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