I was very interested in listening to Jian Ghomeshi' show on Q the other morning. The show featured a compelling lively debate between U.K philosopher Alain de Botton and Canadian writer RM Vaughan. It was a very engaging debate, however I wasn't convinced but RM Vaughan.
I believe each individual's perspective regarding this debate, is relative to what our personal philosophy and experience is, and how this relates to art. Art has a higher purpose I believe, because we are human beings, who almost innately long for meaning, and a higher purpose in life. We don't live in a vacuum nor does art. Art is about communication in my opinion, and emotional language, an exchange between the one who creates the art and the viewer who may or may not choose to interact with the art. Art is complex yes, I don't believe is that mysterious nor does it need to be.
Although I respect, appreciate, understand and even agree with some of the points RM Vaughan makes in his argument, in my opinion he is somewhat reactionary, and has missed the point, but this again I think is perhaps as a result of his philosophical beliefs relating to life and art, which cannot be separated. Pluralism is what is reductionist. I suspect RM Vaughan may believe in pluralism.