Engagements with Arthur C. Danto
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.
"An excellent... well-edited book." — Michalle Gal, British Journal of Aesthetics
"Art, Action, and History is a fascinating interchange of ideas and arguments centered on Arthur Danto's work. This festschrift is more informative and more stimulating than a philosophical autobiography could possibly be. Danto's early views on action, history, and knowledge illuminate in surprising ways his later views on art, and substantiate his stature as the leading philosophical art-critic of our time. Danto's mind and his subtle and witty style inspire his challengers and coauthors. The result is a volume that exhibits a unity of analytical rigor and intellectual richness that could hardly emerge anywhere except in Arthur Danto's environment." — Dieter Henrich, professor emeritus at the University of Munich and Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
"Before Arthur Danto& mdash;the most important living philosopher of art& mdash;became famous for his aesthetic theory, he was well known for his studies of Nietzsche, historiography, and the theory of action. This collection of very lively, eminently readable essays addressing the full range of Danto's concerns provides a most satisfying intellectual portrait. Building upon and arguing with his claims, it makes an essential contribution to ongoing dialogue, which is sure to be lively and productive." — David Carrier, Champney Family Professor at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art
Introduction, by Daniel Herwitz and Michael Kelly
1. Arthur Danto at Columbia and in New York, by Akeel Bilgrami
A Note on My Responses, by Arthur Danto
2. Danto's Action, by Donald Davidson
3. Crossing Paths, by Stanley Cavell
4. For the Birds/Against the Birds: The Modernist Narratives of Danto and Adorno (and Cage) /, by Lydia Goehr
5. Photoshop, or, Unhanding Art, by Gregg Horowitz
6. At the Doom of Modernism: Art and Art Theory in Competition, by Hans Belting
7. The Sell-By Date, by Daniel Herwitz
8. Danto on Tansey: The Possibilities of Appearance, by Michael Kelly
9. Danto, History, and the Tragedy of Human Existence, by Frank R. Ankersmit
10. History and the Sciences, by Philip Kitcher and Daniel Immerwahr