Sometimes theories of art are considered in isolation from broader intellectual concerns. One strength of Arthur Danto’s much-discussed aesthetics lies in its intimate relationship with his philosophical system. The definition of art is linked to theories of action, knowledge and historiography. That analysis is summarized in his book Connections to the World: The Basic Concepts of Philosophy, which presents a simple triangular diagram: subject/representation/world. The subject acts on the world, and the world causes representations.

The relations are between the world and the subject, between the subject and its representations, and between the representations and the world. The first relation is that of causality, and the third that of truth [1].

And to understand the second relation, we need a theory of the self, that is, an explanation of the connection between the representations and the person experiencing them. Danto claims that pretty much every basic philosophical position...

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