One concern is whether Searle`s representation of institutions is up to the task. Some institutional social types have this characteristic: something cannot be a sign of this kind, even if there is a collective agreement that considers it to be a sign of this kind. Suppose someone gives a big cocktail to which everyone in Paris is invited, and things get so out of control that the casualty rate is higher than at the Battle of Austerlitz. Even if everyone thinks the event was a cocktail party, it`s possible (unlike Searle) that they`re wrong: it could have been a war or a battle. It`s not clear that art isn`t like that. If so, the fact that an institution is collectively considered an artistic institution should not be sufficient to do so (Khalidi 2013; see also the entry on social institutions).  A second concern: if not specifying which subsets of the ten properties of the cluster are sufficient to make something a work of art makes the Gaut cluster count significantly flawed, then not specifying which subsets of Gaut`s ten properties are sufficient to make something an art institution is significant for Ablian institutionalism. The bundled version of the view of family resemblance has been defended by a number of philosophers (Bond 1975, Dissanayake 1990, Dutton 2006, Gaut 2000). The view usually contains a list of properties, none of which are a necessary condition for being a work of art, but which together are sufficient to be a work of art, and which are such that at least one suitable subset of it is sufficient to be a work of art.
The proposed lists vary, but overlap considerably. Here is one thanks to Gaut: (1) possess positive aesthetic qualities; (2) be an expression of emotions; (3) be intellectually stimulating; (4) be formally complex and coherent; (5) the ability to convey complex meanings; (6) the presentation of an individual point of view; (7) be original; (8) be an artifact or achievement that is the product of a high level of skill; (9) belong to an established art form; (10) be the product of an intention to create a work of art (Gaut 2000). The cluster account has been criticized for several reasons. First, because of its logical structure, it is actually equivalent to a long, complicated, but finite disjunction, making it difficult to understand why it is not a definition (Davies 2006). Second, if the list of properties is incomplete, as some cluster theorists claim, then a justification or principle would be needed to expand it. Third, adding the ninth property to the list, which belongs to an established art form, seems to regenerate (or dodge) the question of definition rather than answer it. Finally, it should be noted that, although cluster theorists point out what they consider to be the colorful heterogeneity of the artwork class, they tend with surprising regularity to tacitly give aesthetics a special, perhaps unifying, status among the properties they propose as merely disjunctive. A cluster theorist, for example, gives a list very similar to the one discussed above (it includes representational qualities, expressiveness, creativity, a high degree of dexterity, belonging to an established art form), but omits aesthetic qualities because it is the combination of the other elements of the list that, combined in the experience of the work, are precisely the aesthetic qualities of the work (Dutton 2006). Gaut, listed above, includes aesthetic features as a separate item in the list, but interprets them very narrowly; The difference between these ways of formulating the group view seems to be mainly nominal.
And an earlier cluster theorist defines works of art as everything and only those things that belong to an instantiation of an art form, provides a list of seven properties that together are meant to capture the core of what it is to be an art form, although none are necessary or sufficient, and then asserts that aesthetic value (of the same kind as mountains, Sunsets, mathematical theorems) is “what is art for” (Bond 1975). Definitions of art attempt to understand two different types of facts: art has historically conditioned important cultural characteristics as well as transhistorical and pancultural characteristics that point to a relatively stable aesthetic core. (Theorists who view art as an eighteenth-century invention in Europe will, of course, view this way of framing the question as tendentious, on the grounds that entities produced outside this culturally distinctive institution do not fall within the scope of the extension of “art” and are therefore irrelevant to the project defining art (Shiner 2001). It is not clear whether the concept of art is sufficiently precise to justify such confidence in what falls within its claim to expansion.) Conventional definitions take as explanations the contingent cultural characteristics of art and aim to grasp phenomena – revolutionary modern art, art`s traditional close connection with aesthetics, the possibility of autonomous artistic traditions, etc. – in socio-historical terms. Classically spicy or traditional definitions (sometimes called “functionalists”) reverse this order of explanation. These classically colored definitions take traditional concepts such as aesthetics (or related concepts such as formal or expressive) as fundamental and aim to explain phenomena by complicating these concepts – for example, by supporting a concept of aesthetics rich enough to include non-perceptual properties, or by trying to integrate these concepts (e.g., Eldridge, Section 4.4 below). The philosophy of art differs from art criticism, which deals with the analysis and evaluation of certain works of art. Critical activities may be primarily historical, e.g., when a lecture is given on the conventions of Elizabethan theatre to explain some of the means used in William Shakespeare`s plays. It can be primarily analytical, such as when a particular passage of poetry is separated into its elements and its meaning or meaning is explained in relation to other passages and poems in the tradition. Or it can be primarily evaluative if reasons are given that the artwork in question is good or bad or better or worse than another.
Sometimes it is not a single work of art, but a whole class of works of a particular style or genre (such as pastoral poems or baroque music) that is illuminated, and sometimes it is the art of an entire era (such as romanticism).