Well, I sent him a link to the episode via Facebook, and he not only listened that day to it, but put the link on his page, complimented us there to his many friends, and said it was OK for us to quote his correspondence. His initial response to us was this (edited down a bit):
I was really thrilled by the podcast you sent. It was a unique experience, seeing philosophy living in our culture. I’ve never before heard my work discussed like that, and rarely as intelligently. What was wonderful were all the digressions, but then everyone got back to the issues, and usually you came out right -or right enough, given where I was in the path of my thought when I wrote those essays.
…So thanks for the stupendous honor you have done me here. I enjoyed every minute, including the song at the end.
In a follow-up communication, he gave his this quote:
I think the way you address philosophical issues inspiring, including the kind of horseplay that Plato edited out of the dialogues, which had, after all, to be transcribed by hand.
…And on his FB page he said:
I was pleased and surprised by this discussion. Three former philosophy students took on the task of discussing different texts, and though there is a lot of irreverent comments on professional philosophy, it is very high level. I listened to the whole podcast, and felt exalted afterward.
At my request, he sent us some follow-up readings to consider. Some of the issues we discussed in the podcast, he says, were addressed in “The Abuse of Beauty, my Carus lectures, which were delivered not long after 9/11; the insight is directly connected with 9/11 – argues that beauty is indispensible to human life, but not essential to the concept of art” and also that we might enjoy Lydia Goehr’s book comparing Danto with Theodor Adorno: “She is in music aesthetics, and a lot more continental and at the same time more academic than I ever was, but she is very smart.”
As for future readings that will potentially feed our future episodes, here’s his list of suggestions:
Jerry Levinson writes on music in a highly intelligent way. Stanley Cavell is first rate on movies and literature. I love his book on screwball comedies. Noel Carroll’s book Mass Art raises a lot of important issues. Nelson Goodman was a towering thinker and also an art dealer, and his work is full of challenging ideas, even if stretches of it are highly technical.
Needless to say, we are thrilled and grateful for all of this and will get to more philosophy of art (which according to Danto, we should stop calling “aesthetics,” which has to do specifically and solely with “beauty”) as soon as we can fit it in.