The Work of Art as fictio personae

  • Miloš Ćipranić Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Keywords: fictitious person, art, personification, rhetoric, law, aesthetics, Miguel Tamen, Maurizio Ferraris


The article investigates how and why we treat works of art as persons. From rhetoric to jurisprudence, various disciplines have dealt with the practice of attributing human features and abilities to insensate objects. The agency of works of art acting as fictitious persons is not only rec­ognized at the level of aesthetic experience, but also outside it, because there have been cases in which they were subject to legal liability. Per­sonhood is not reducible to individual human beings. However, since works of art lack senses and consciousness, there is ultimately a limit to the personifying metaphor.


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