Arthur Danto's Philosophy of Art: Essays


For over thirty years, Arthur Danto was the most important art critic and philosopher of art and aesthetics in the English-speaking world. Arthur Danto's Philosophy of Art: Essays provides a comprehensive and systematic view of his philosophy and criticism by Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of the Philosophy of Art, CUNY and himself a former journalist specializing in arts criticism. Danto's writings attracted and still attracts diverse audiences, including aestheticians, artists, art critics, historians, and art lovers. In this book they will find his major themes not only analyzed in depth but also discussions of his political significance, views on history, cinema and more.

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Noël Carroll is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York. He is the author of over fifteen books including The Philosophy of Horror, Humour: A Very Short Introduction, The Philosophy of Mass Art and On Criticism. He has edited or co-edited seven anthologies including Theories of Art Today and Post-Theory. He is a former president of the American Society for Aesthetics, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a former journalist and the author of five documentary moving pictures.

1 Introduction

2 Danto, Art, and History

3 Danto, Style, and Intention

4 Essence, Expression, and History: Arthur Danto’s Philosophy of Art
 1 Essence and Expression: Danto’s Philosophy of Art
 2 The End of Art: Danto’s Philosophy of Art History
 3 A Critical Examination of Danto’s Philosophy of Art
 4 Concluding Remarks

5 Danto’s New Definition of Art and the Problem of Art Theories

6 The End of Art?

7 Danto, the End of Art, and the Orientational Narrative
 1 Introduction
 2 Misunderstandings: The Endlessness of Art
 3 The End of Art
 4 Criticisms of the End-of-Art Thesis
 5 Re-Reading Danto

8 Arthur Danto and the Problem of Beauty
 1 On Why Beauty in the Narrow Sense Appears to be a Problem for Danto
 2 On Why Beauty Has No Place in Danto’s Concept of Art
 3 Explaining (or Explaining Away) the Relevance of Beauty to Art Properly So-Called
 4 Arthur Danto’s Concept of Art and Beauty in a Broader Sense

9 Arthur Danto, His Philosophy of Art and Critical Practice
 1 Essentialism without Critical Value Judgments
 2 Danto’s Definition of Art and His Critical Practice
 3 Danto’s Philosophy of Art History and His Critical Practice
 4 Art Criticism without Evaluation?
 5 Summary

10 Arthur Danto and the Political Re-Enfranchisement of Art
 1 Introduction
 2 Disenfranchising Art
 3 Danto and the Possibility of Political Art
 4 Summary

11 Danto, Pluralism, and Politics
 1 Between Modernist Autonomy and Post-Modernist Engagement
 2 Danto, Modernism, and Pluralism
 3 Post-Modernist Political Advocacy and Post-Historical Pluralism
 4 Summary

12 The Philosophy of Art History, Dance, and the 1960s

13 Arthur Danto Goes to the Movies
 1 Introduction
 2 Danto’s Ontology of Cinema
 3 Danto and the History of the Moving Image
 4 Danto and Moving Image Criticism

14 Warhol’s Empire

15 Danto’s Philosophy of History
 1 Historical Retrospecton
 2 The Substantive Philosophy of History
 3 The Eye-Witness View of History
 4 The End of Art

16 Danto’s Comic Vision: Philosophical Method and Literary Style
 1 Introduction
 2 Danto’s Philosophical Method
 3 Comedy Tonight
 4 A Happy Ending

17 The Age of Danto

Appendix: Two Brief Notes on What Art Is
Danto's writing appealed to many audiences -- not only academic philosophers, but artists, art historians, art lovers, and serious humanists with ranging interests in culture. This book will appeal to the same audiences, touching on philosophical theory along with topics like postmodernism, the end of art, and the importance of beauty.
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