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Episode 24
"Art and Philosophy"
Arthur C. Danto

Original airdate: January 9, 2011, 5 p.m. central.


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What is art? What is beauty? How are they related to truth? These questions lay at the core of philosophical inquiry, and few have been more baffling – and more enriching – to philosophers. Combine these issues with the fact that art is an inherently intimate experience for viewers and you get the recipe for deep controversy and exciting debate. Join WHY? as we delve deep into aesthetics, the philosophy of art, with one of its most respected and influential practitioners: Arthur Danto.  

Arthur Danto the Johnsonian Professor Emeritus Philosophy at Columbia University.; he joined the faculty in 1951. He has been the recipient of many fellowships and grants including two Guggenheims, ACLS, and Fulbright.  Professor Danto has served as Vice-President and President of the American Philosophical Association, as well as President of the American Society for Aesthetics. He is the author of numerous books, including Nietzsche as Philosopher, Mysticism and Morality, The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, Narration and Knowledge, Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy, and Encounters and Reflections: Art in the Historical Present, a collection of art criticism which won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for Criticism, 1990. His most recent book is Embodied Meanings: Critical Essays and Aesthetic Meditations. He is the art critic for The Nation and has also published numerous articles in other journals. He is also an editor of the Journal of Philosophy and consulting editor for various other publications.

WHY’s host Jack Russell Weinstein says: “talking with Arthur Danto will be both a challenge and an honor. Few philosophers have had such an interesting and influential career.  I can think of no better guide to the world of art, a world that is of immense importance to me and most of our listeners.”

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