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Action, Art, History: Engagements with Arthur C. Danto

Edited by Daniel Herwitz and Michael Kelly

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March, 2007
Cloth, 256 pages, 3 b&w halftones
ISBN: 978-0-231-13796-6
$55.00 / £38.00

Arthur C. Danto is unique among philosophers for the breadth of his philosophical mind, his eloquent writing style, and the generous spirit embodied in all his work. Any collection of essays on his philosophy has to engage him on all these levels, because this is how he has always engaged the world, as a philosopher and person.

In this volume, renowned philosophers and art historians revisit Danto's theories of art, action, and history, and the depth of his innovation as a philosopher of culture. Essays explore the importance of Danto's philosophy and criticism for the contemporary art world, along with his theories of perception, action, historical knowledge, and, most importantly for Danto himself, the conceptual connections among these topics. Danto himself continues the conversation by adding his own commentary to each essay, extending the debate with characteristic insight, graciousness, and wit.

Contributors include Frank Ankersmit, Hans Belting, Stanley Cavell, Donald Davidson, Lydia Goehr, Gregg Horowitz, Philip Kitcher, Daniel Immerwahr, Daniel Herwitz, and Michael Kelly, testifying to the far-reaching effects of Danto's thought. Danto brought to philosophy the artist's unfettered imagination, and his ideas about postmodern culture are virtual road maps of the present art world. This volume pays tribute to both Danto's brilliant capacity to move between philosophy and contemporary culture and his pathbreaking achievements in philosophy, art history, and art criticism.

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About the Author

Arthur C. Danto is the Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy emeritus at Columbia University and art critic for The Nation. His many books include Narration and Knowledge, After the End of Art, Nietzsche as Philosopher, and Art in the Historical Present, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was awarded the Prix Philosophe in 2003.Daniel Herwitz is director of the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, where he also holds professorships in art and philosophy. He has taught at the University of Natal, South Africa, where he was chair of the Department of Philosophy. In addition to numerous articles on philosophy, art, politics, and culture, he is the author of Race and Reconciliation: Essays from the New South Africa and Making Theory/Constructing Art: On the Authority of the Avant-Garde. He has just completed a manuscript called Diana's Grace: Aura and Icon in our Time, about film, television, and celebrity, and is at work on a volume of short stories, one of which recently appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review. Michael Kelly is chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Formerly he was the executive director of the American Philosophical Association and managing editor of the Journal of Philosophy. He has taught philosophy at Columbia and philosophy and art history at the University of Delaware and is the author of Iconoclasm in Aesthetics and the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics.

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