The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art

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Harvard University Press, 1981 - Philosophy - 212 pages
7 Reviews

Mr. Danto argues that recent developments in the artworld, in particular the production of works of art that cannot be told from ordinary things, make urgent the need for a new theory of art and make plain the factors such a theory can and cannot involve. In the course of constructing such a theory, he seeks to demonstrate the relationship between philosophy and art, as well as the connections that hold between art and social institutions and art history.

The book distinguishes what belongs to artistic theory from what has traditionally been confused with it, namely aesthetic theory and offers as well a systematic account of metaphor, expression, and style, together with an original account of artistic representation. A wealth of examples, drawn especially from recent and contemporary art, illuminate the argument.


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Review: The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art

User Review  - Ann Michael - Goodreads

I was not, I admit, expecting to enjoy this book but just to learn from it. Danto, however, is a surprisingly entertaining philosophical writer. I love that he takes his title from a fictional book ... Read full review

Review: The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art

User Review  - Drenda - Goodreads

Danto is asking an interesting question in Transfiguration of the Commonplace: what is it that we are responding to when we have an aesthetic experience? He pursues this question by investigating two ... Read full review


Works of Art and Mere Real Things
Content and Causation
Philosophy and Art
Aesthetics and the Work of Art
Interpretation and Identification
Works of Art and Mere Representations
Metaphor Expression and Style

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About the author (1981)

Arthur C. Danto is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy,Columbia University

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