This is a 33-minute preview of a 2 hr, 13-minute episode.
What effect should the avant garde have on our understanding of what art is? We read three essays by modern, first-rate American philosopher Arthur Danto, all published in The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art (1986): the title essay, "The Appreciation and Interpretation of Works of Art," and "The End of Art."
I understand you may not have heard of Danto, and you may think modern art is goofy, but you'll definitely enjoy this discussion and the reading anyway. Danto gives a picture of philosophy and art at war throughout history: philosophy says that art can't get at truth and is otherwise useless, yet philosophers like Plato seem afraid of the power of art to corrupt. What's the deal?
Also, Danto claims that art is over; the end of art has happened. So suck it, artists. (Actually, artists can keep on doing what they're doing; they're fine, yet art is still over.) Plus, can you stare at a urinal and thereby make it art? What if it's in a museum? Danto loves them crazy ass post-modern artists, and thinks that their work shows that art was not what we thought it was.
Plus, Seth talks about the plane crashing into the IRS building near his house, and we respond some listener postings.
Danto's book is definitely worth purchasing.
Note that after this was posted, Danto listened to it and liked it.