George Dickie (philosopher)  

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"The point is that Duchamp's act took place within a certain institutional setting and that makes all the difference." --"Defining Art", 1969, George Dickie

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George Dickie (born 1926 in Palmetto, Florida) is an American professor, best-known for his institutional theory of art.

Education and career

He received a BA from Florida State University in 1949 and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1978.

He served as President of the Illinois Philosophy Association (1990-91) and President of the American Society for Aesthetics (1993-94).


He is an influential philosopher of art working in the analytical tradition. His institutional theory of art inspired both supporters who produced variations on the theory as well as detractors.

One of his more influential works is The Century of Taste (1996), an inquiry into several eighteenth-century philosophers' treatments of the subject. The bulk of the work is devoted to championing David Hume's treatment of the subject over that of Immanuel Kant. A review of the work can be found in The Philosophical Review, 107:3 (July, 1998).


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