Numerous contemporary philosophers have invoked the idea that art is best understood as a social practice in order to distinguish among art kinds or to distinguish Art from closely related practices such as Design. Many general accounts of social practices and of art practices in particular claim that sets of shared assumptions or norms are a key constituent of practices. But some standard accounts of social practices interpret these shared norms with the concept of “rules” or “agreements.” I argue that the idea of rules or agreements is theoretically inadequate and should be replaced by what the philosopher of science, Joseph Rouse, calls “mutual normative accountability.” I then illustrate the theoretical value of such a replacement by discussing the differences between Art practices and Design practices.

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