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Philosophical Perspectives on Art$
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Stephen Davies

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202423.001.0001

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Probably Not the Last Word on the End of Art

Probably Not the Last Word on the End of Art

(p.119) 8 Probably Not the Last Word on the End of Art
Philosophical Perspectives on Art

Stephen Davies (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Arthur Danto has argued that art's historical mission was to make possible the formulation of a philosophically perspicuous question about its own nature. When this was achieved in the 1960s, art entered its post-historical phase, during which anything could become art. But this view seems to ignore non-Western art traditions; it overlooks the fact that, even if all styles and possibilities are now available, it remains the case that the self-conscious use of outdated styles prevents them from ‘saying’ what they did formerly. It also invites the question asking what is to distinguish the claim that art's primary task was to embark on a history that would eventually reveal its own essence from an alternative view maintaining that, having shrugged off its historical burden, art is at last free to be genuinely itself.

Keywords:   Arthur Danto, end of art, historical mission, outdated styles, historical burden

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