The Space that Separates: A Realist Theory of Art radically challenges our assumptions about what art is, what art does, who is doing it, and why it matters. Rejecting the modernist and market-driven misconception that art is only what artists do, Wilson instead presents a realist case for living artfully. Art is defined as the skilled practice of giving shareable form to our experiences of being-in-relation with the real; that is to say, the causally generative domain of the world that extends beyond our direct observation, comprising relations, structures, mechanisms, possibilities, powers, processes, systems, forces, values, ways of being. In communicating such aesthetic experience we behold life’s betweenness – "the space that separates", so coming to know ourselves as connected.
Providing the first dedicated and comprehensive account of art and aesthetics from a critical realist perspective – Aesthetic Critical Realism (ACR), Wilson argues for a profound paradigm shift in how we understand and care for culture in terms of our system(s) of value recognition. Fortunately, we have just the right tool to help us achieve this transformation – and it’s called art. Offering novel explanatory accounts of art, aesthetic experience, value, play, culture, creativity, artistic truth and beauty, this book will appeal to a wide audience of students and scholars of art, aesthetics, human development, philosophy and critical realism, as well as cultural practitioners and policy-makers.