Hegel, Danto, Adorno, and the end and after of art

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In this paper, I consider Adorno's claim that art is at, or is coming to, an ‘end’. I consider Adorno's account in relation to the work of Arthur Danto and G. W. F. Hegel. I employ Danto's account, together with two distinct interpretive glosses of Hegel's account, as heuristic devices in order to clarify both Adorno's own arguments, and the context within which they are being advanced. I argue that while Danto and Hegel see art as coming to an end autonomously, owing to art's successful realization of its governing principle, Adorno by contrast sees art as coming to an end heteronomously. Art's narrative is forcibly broken off, rather than completed. Adorno's account, indebted to Hegel, of art's commitment both to autonomy and the realization of ‘spiritual needs’ is explored in order to clarify how, on Adorno's view, this has happened to art; and why, precisely, he believes art is coming to an end.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-763
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal for the History of Philosophy
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2016

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