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“The Origin of the Work of Art (German: Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes) is an essay by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Heidegger drafted the text between 1935 and 1937, reworking it for publication in 1950 and again in 1960. Heidegger based his essay on a series of lectures he had previously delivered in Zurich and Frank- furt during the 1930s, first on the essence of the work of art and then on the question of the meaning of a “thing,” marking the philosopher’s first lectures on the notion of art.[…]

Artworks, Heidegger contends, are things, a definition that raises the question of the meaning of a “thing,” such that works have a thingly character. This is a broad concept, so Heidegger chooses to focus on three dominant interpretations of things:
1. Things as substances with properties, or as bearers of traits.
2. Things as the manifold of sense perceptions.
3. Things as formed matter.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Origin_of_the_Work_of_Art

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