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Art & Otherness:
Directly following the internationally acclaimed Art & Discontent, Thomas McEvilley argues in Art & Otherness for an advanced anthropological perspective that contravenes conventional thinking in the visual arts, and leads to a concept of artistic globalization. The description of western culture as superior and in opposition to other cultures of the world preoccupied our aesthetic philosophy for at least 200 years, whether or not explicitly stated. That argument was undertaken in various guises, especially as the historical determinism of Hegel which proposed to quantify human "progress." Recently, however, the term "multiculturalism" has come to signify a post-Modern understanding of how visual arts transgress artificial boundaries, and of how there may now exist, perhaps for the first time in history, a post-colonial globalism in the arts freed of ethnocentric value judgments. In these ten crucial essays, McEvilley clarifies how the presentation of art can determine its reception, how "influence" can be bi-directional, how "otherness" serves to define "self," and how art need not necessarily lose its meaningfulness when stripped of badges of universality. Once again illustrating his argument by drawing upon an array of sources and cultures, Thomas McEvilley demonstrates that the post-Modern crisis in cultural identity demands an imaginative, integrating response. [via]