World making, praxis, and the genealogy of Cubism

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Interdepartmental Studies

First Committee Member

Alan Goldman - Committee Chair


This dissertation explores Nelson Goodman's constructional analytics--his ontology and pluralism--with Michel Foucault's archaeology and genealogy, in order to suggest a possible reconstruction of Goodman's model, based on world making's potential for a historical commitment. Other contributions are incorporated in the reconstruction, such as Pierre Bourdieu's account of the logic of practice, with Michel Polanyi and Martin Heidegger's ideas on praxis. The methodology involves the use of a diachronic plan that stresses practice over theory, and incorporates genealogy's suspicion for self-reference. The point is to bring practice to the sphere of agents' interests, thus probing issues of the power, politics and economics which are--by virtue of the dynamic of practices--at the center of world making. This reconstructed model is then instantiated in the realm of art, as the emergence and development of Cubism from 1906 to 1914. Cubism is examined as a case of praxis, but also as a pictoric formation open to theoretical claims. In the process, an ontology is suggested, following Winthrop Judkins' analysis of Cubism.


Art History; Philosophy

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