Arthur Danto's philosophy of art
Lafferty, Michael Gerald (2006) Arthur Danto's philosophy of art. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2116130~S1
The thesis is a critical examination of Danto's philosophy of art. It begins with his
article 'The Artworld' where he proposes a special is of artistic identification to
distinguish artworks. Danto's idea of the artworld is discussed, a historical and
contextual theory of art, which arose from his attempt to explain the difference
between Warhol's Brillo Boxes sculpture and an indiscernible stack of everyday
Brillo boxes. It is argued that Danto unsuccessfully attempts to shore up his artworld
concept with the special is.
The technique of comparing indiscernible counterparts, from Danto's
book The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, is examined. It is argued that the
technique is philosophically redundant, but it is a redundant premise which has been
added to a valid inference (Danto's historical and contextual view of art: his artworld
theory) therefore, this does not make the original inference invalid.
Danto's treatment of metaphor, expression, and style is shown to result
in four claims. First, artworks embody rhetorical ellipsis. Second, artworks share
features of metaphor: they are intensional (with an s) in structure and cannot be
paraphrased. Third, a work of art expresses what it is a metaphor for by the way it
depicts its subject. Fourth, artworks embody style.
The conclusion, has two parts. The first part gives a summary of the
criticism of Danto's theory of art: (1) there are logical inconsistencies in his concept
of the is of artistic identification and in his use of indiscernible counterparts, (2) his
theory suffers by being over-inclusive and (3) he uses circular arguments. The
second part is based on a response to the criticism: it provides a definition of art.
This has three elements. First, an argument is proposed for a spectrum of artistic
presence in which all human activity and artefacts can be placed. Second, there is an
acceptance of Danto's view of art (or artistic presence) being both intentional (with
a t) and intensional (with an s); however, by applying these concepts to a spectrum,
the problem of over-inclusiveness is avoided. Finally, it is argued there can he no
wholly non-circular account of art.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Danto, Arthur Coleman, 1924- -- Criticism and interpretation, Art -- Philosophy|
|Official Date:||May 2006|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Philosophy|
|Extent:||[viii], 242,  leaves|
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