9:00-9:20: “The Poetry in Piledrivers?: Pro-wrestling as art”

Ben Abelson is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.


From the perspective of analytic philosophical aesthetics, pro-wrestling is a form of art, one with a distinctive locus of critical scrutiny, which includes a vague boundary between creator and character, a unique physical storytelling language, and a complex relationship between the audience and the art object itself. I make the case that contemporary wrestling, at least, is more completely classified under the heading of art than under alternative relevant categorizations, such as sport, pornography, and propaganda.

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