Michael Fried and Philosophy: Modernism, Intention, and Theatricality, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Michael Fried and Philosophy

Modernism, Intention, and Theatricality, 1st Edition

Edited by Mathew Abbott


268 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-02-07
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This volume brings philosophers, art historians, intellectual historians, and literary scholars together to argue for the philosophical significance of Michael Fried’s art history and criticism. It demonstrates that Fried’s work on modernism, artistic intention, the ontology of art, theatricality, and anti-theatricality can throw new light on problems in and beyond philosophical aesthetics. Featuring an essay by Fried and articles from world-leading scholars, this collection engages with philosophical themes from Fried’s texts, and clarifies the relevance to his work of philosophers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Stanley Cavell, Morris Weitz, Elizabeth Anscombe, Arthur Danto, George Dickie, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schiller, G. W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Denis Diderot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Roland Barthes, Jacques Rancière, and Søren Kierkegaard. As it makes a case for the importance of Fried for philosophy, this volume contributes to current debates in analytic and continental aesthetics, philosophy of action, philosophy of history, political philosophy, modernism studies, literary studies, and art theory.


"This exemplary collection brings together philosophers, art historians, and literary scholars to shed light on the vast range of work by Michael Fried, and the relevance of Fried's work to philosophy . . . [It] opens an authentic, valuable dialogue between art and philosophy. Summing Up: Essential." – CHOICE Reviews

"This is a superb set of essays on the writing of Michael Fried . . . Every essay is lucid, scholarly, meticulously crafted, detailed and acute in a way worthy of Fried's virtuoso and philosophically subtle approach to the history of art."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Table of Contents

Introduction: Michael Fried and Philosophy Mathew Abbott 1. Modernism and the Discovery of Finitude Mathew Abbott 2. "When I raise my arm": Michael Fried’s Theory of Action Walter Benn Michaels 3. Why Does Photography Matter as Art Now, as Never Before? On Fried and Intention Robert Pippin 4. Schiller, Schopenhauer, Fried David Wellbery 5. Deep Relationality and the Hinge-like Structure of History: Michael Fried’s Photographs Stephen Mulhall 6. Becoming Medium Stephen Melville 7. Formulism and the Appearance of Nature Richard Moran 8. Michael Fried, Theatricality, and the Threat of Skepticism Paul J. Gudel 9. Michael Fried’s Intentionality Rex Butler 10. On the (So-Called) Problem of Detail: Michael Fried, Roland Barthes, and Roger Scruton on Photography and Intentionality Diarmuid Costello 11. The Aesthetics of Absorbtion Magdalena Ostas 12. Grace and Equality, Fried and Rancière (and Kant) Knox Peden 13. Diderot’s Conception of Aesthetic Subjectivity and the Possibility of Art Andrew Kern 14. The Promise of the Present: Michael Fried’s Poetry Now Jennifer Ashton 15. Constantin Constantius Goes to the Theater Michael Fried

About the Editor

Mathew Abbott is Lecturer in Philosophy at Federation University Australia. Drawing on modern European and post-Wittgensteinian thought, his research is concerned with intersections of aesthetics, politics, and ethics. He is the author of Abbas Kiarostami and Film-Philosophy and The Figure of This World: Agamben and the Question of Political Ontology.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Aesthetics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Criticism & Theory
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics