World Art 11 (2):201-227 (2021)

Jakub Stejskal
Masaryk University
This essay re-examines the once promising idea that style analysis can provide an independent source of insight into an artifact's non-stylistic context. The essay makes explicit the consequences of treating collective style as such a source in archaeology and anthropology of art, and further develops a new framing for the idea that avoids the criticisms largely responsible for the decline in theoretical interest in the epistemic import of visual style analysis since World War II. This re-framing proposes that inference from style to context is permissible on those occasions when a collective style signals by its morphology its suitability to serve a certain function. And it does so because it prescribes publicly certain modes of behavior or spectatorship. Furthermore, the public nature of the signaling may be such that it allows even uninitiated spectators to get a sense of it and thus to gain access to some of the motivations and norms informing the collective's form of life.
Keywords visual style  pictorial style  collective style  style analysis
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Understanding Pictures.Dominic Lopes - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
Evidential Reasoning in Archaeology.Robert Chapman & Alison Wylie - 2016 - London: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing.
Artifacts and Their Functions.A. W. Eaton - 2020 - In Sarah Anne Carter & Ivan Gaskell (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of History and Material Culture. Oxford University Press.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Personal Style and Artistic Style.Nick Riggle - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):711-731.
Artistic Style as the Expression of Ideals.Robert Hopkins & Nick Riggle - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (NO. 8):1-18.
Stil Und Welt.Detlev Lüders - 2011 - Königshausen & Neumann.
Towards a Reductive Theory of Visual Style.George Kubler - 1979 - In Leonard B. Meyer & Berel Lang (eds.), The Concept of Style. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 119--127.
Six Related Essays on Argumentative Style.Frans H. Van Eemeren - 2021 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 10 (1):1-7.
Style as Instrument, Style as Person.Berel Lang - 1978 - Critical Inquiry 4 (4):715-739.
Ludwik Fleck and the Concept of Style in the Natural Sciences.Claus Zittel - 2012 - Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):53-79.
Back in Style: A New Interpretation of Danto's Style Matrix.Frank Boardman - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (4):441-448.


Added to PP index

Total views
69 ( #166,520 of 2,506,852 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #40,206 of 2,506,852 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes