5. Surface and Deep Interpretation

  1. Mark Rollins
  1. Peg Brand1 and
  2. Myles Brand2

Published Online: 2 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118253045.ch5

Danto and his Critics, Second Edition

Danto and his Critics, Second Edition

How to Cite

Brand, P. and Brand, M. (2012) Surface and Deep Interpretation, in Danto and his Critics, Second Edition (ed M. Rollins), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118253045.ch5

Editor Information

  1. Washington University, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

  2. 2

    University of Oregon, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: 13 APR 2012

Book Series:

  1. Philosophers and their Critics

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ernest Lepore

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470673447

Online ISBN: 9781118253045



  • Danto, on surface interpretation, prerequisite for a deep interpretation;
  • Danto's claim, of interpretation, constitutive of a work of art;
  • no works of art, being without an interpretation;
  • artworks “misconstituted when interpretation is wrong”;
  • philosophical disenfranchisement of art;
  • analogy with human action, interpreting works of art;
  • Causal Theory of Action, action in virtue of its causal roles;
  • Content Dependency, tracing the artist's intellectual development


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Analogy with Human Action

  • The Dependency Theses

  • Are Deep Interpretations Weakly Dependent on Surface Interpretations?

  • Consequences for the Constitutive Dependency Thesis