End-of-Art Philosophy in Hegel, Nietzsche and Danto

Palgrave Macmillan (2018)
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This book examines the little understood end-of-art theses of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Danto. The end-of-art claim is often associated with the end of a certain standard of taste or skill. However, at a deeper level, it relates to a transformation in how we philosophically understand our relation to the ‘world’. Hegel, Nietzsche, and Danto each strive philosophically to overcome Cartesian dualism, redrawing the traditional lines between mind and matter. Hegel sees the overcoming of the material in the ideal, Nietzsche levels the two worlds into one, and Danto divides the world into representing and non-representing material. These attempts to overcome dualism necessitate notions of the self that differ significantly from traditional accounts; the redrawn boundaries show that art and philosophy grasp essential but different aspects of human existence. Neither perspective, however, fully grasps the duality. The appearance of art’s end occurs when one aspect is given priority: for Hegel and Danto, it is the essentialist lens of philosophy, and, in Nietzsche’s case, the transformative power of artistic creativity. Thus, the book makes the case that the end-of-art claim is avoided if a theory of art links the internal practice of artistic creation to all of art’s historical forms.


Style of the Future

In this chapter, Snyder examines the morphological changes that art underwent in the twentieth century, giving an alternative account that does not show art to have ended. Because Danto is primarily concerned with art’s ontology and its essentialist definition, he does not concern himself with the r... see more

Danto and the End of Art: Surrendering to Unintelligibility

This chapter investigates Danto’s claim that with the era of art at an end, art is free from any “master narrative,” and art can be whatever it wants. Snyder shows that though Danto’s assertion mirrors Hegel’s nineteenth-century claim that art has moved beyond its representational style to the more ... see more

The Transformative Power of Creativity in Nietzsche’s Saving Illusion

This chapter assesses Nietzsche’s relationship to art and the aesthetic by examining the stances he adopts during the different phases of his writing. The end-of-art theme emerges in two ways, each reflecting his approach to the problem of dualism. An examination of Schopenhauer’s influence on Nietz... see more

Hegel: The End of Art as Truth Incarnate

Snyder discusses Hegel’s understanding of the nature of art and the dialectical articulation of art’s concept in this chapter. Within the framework of his idealism, Hegel’s notions of the Sublime, the Beautiful, and the Ugly are juxtaposed with those of Kant. The contrasts made in this chapter regar... see more

The End of Art Debate

This chapter offers an introduction to the end-of-art topic, beginning with the ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry that Plato refers to in the final chapter of Republic. Snyder explains how a resolution to Plato’s criticism of poetry is found in the defense Aristotle proposes in Poetics. ... see more

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Danto's Narrative Philosophy of History and the End of Art.Stephen Snyder - 2015 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 22 (1):50-66.
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Nietzsche as Philosopher.Arthur C. Danto - 1965 - Cambridge University Press.
Hegel, Nietzsche and the Criticism of Metaphysics.Stephen Houlgate - 1986 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Nietzsche as Philosopher.Arthur Coleman Danto - 1965 - Columbia University Press.
Nietzschean Genealogy and Hegelian History in The Genealogy of Morals.Philip J. Kain - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):123-147.


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Stephen Snyder
Tbilisi State University

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