Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

Timothy Yenter

Second Advisor

Steven Skultety

Third Advisor

Dan Stout

Relational Format



The primary objectives of this research are to describe ways in the interpretation of art-objects is shaped by their ownership and to endorse fan culture participation as a mechanism through which people might be led to aesthetic value. This analysis shall be grounded in an understanding of trust and shall point the reader toward care, noting that these phenomena positively correlate and help interpreters to receive meaning of more abundance and depth. It will be initially claimed that art interpretation is itself contribution to aesthetic dialogue with artists. This claim is grounded in an understanding of art’s communicative capacities and the ways they are deliberately leveraged to invite response. These dialogues are themselves enhanced by the presence of intimacy and trust, which are nurtured by participation in interpretive communities, specifically those constitutive of fan culture. Ownership of art shall be described as itself an aesthetic phenomenon, explaining how and why people respond to it as such. This response will be analyzed through a lens of care, noting that this care gives way to the maximization of extracted aesthetic value. Throughout this analysis, ownership shall be broadly conceived. Synthesis of these sub-discussions shall lead the reader toward the endorsement of fan culture participation as a mechanism for the maximization of aesthetic care, and, in turn, of aesthetic value.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.