This essay attempts to refute the conventionalist aspect of Nelson Goodman's theory of representation that is still one of the most influential theories of aesthetics in our time. However, the primary aim of this essay is not to
summarize the long ongoing debate between the conventionalist and the opposed views of art, but rather to re-examine in its wider context the conventionalistic view and its implications for twentieth-century art. This re-examination will be carried out from vantage points such as paleoanthropology, prehistoric art, hierarchy theory, empirical findings of psychology, relations theory (logic) and other fields, thus bridging between empirical and philosophical contributions to the elucidation of this problem. A central argument of this essay is that the conventionalist view is not only mistaken but that it has destructive implications for art as a symbolic activity. This follows from the fact that this view reduces the artistic to the perceptual and to the habitual, and thereby abets the complete blurring of the lines of demarcation between art and non-art, which is perhaps the main problem of art in the present century and in the foreseeable future.