Essentialism and historicism in Danto's philosophy of art

History and Theory 37 (4):30–43 (1998)

Arthur C. Danto has long defended essentialism in the philosophy of art, yet he has been interpreted by many as a historicist. This essentialism/historicism conflict in the interpretation of his work reflects the same conflict both within his thought and, more importantly, within modern art itself. Danto's strategy for resolving this conflict involves, among other things, a Bildungsroman of modern art failing to discover its essence, an essentialist definition of art provided by philosophy which is indemnified against history, and a thesis about the end of art once it has been defined. Is this strategy successful, or does it result, as I argue, in a philosophical disenfranchisement of art of precisely the type that Danto himself has criticized?
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DOI 10.1111/0018-2656.661998066
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Danto, Derrida and the Artworld Frame.Denise Thwaites - 2017 - Derrida Today 10 (1):67-88.

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