Style and "Substance"

Philosophy and the Arts

This Scalar project is the dynamic archive of Mellon CSLC 283 course, Style and "Substance" : Philosophy and the Arts. Movement through this archive is meant to be non-linear and non-hierarchal referencing the semantic nature of Scalar and reflecting our present ontology. In the words of Professor Stocking, "We have arrived at the notion of multiple totalities."

In the Spring 2017 semester students in Style and Substance learned how to comport themselves to art through the apprehension of philosophical ontologies that mirror the artwork of a specific period. The archive reflects the art and ontologies covered in the first half of the semester, from the Archaic-Eternal Return Myth to Renaissance-Nominalism. As the course is ongoing so to is the archive. Each iteration of the class will build on the archive. The growth of the archive will be visually represented in a force-directed fractal which serves as the primary navigation tool.

The project is made up of one path with two parts. The first part moves you through navigation pages and student essays on different ontologies and artworks. The second part moves you through some of the ontologies covered in the course and their art historical counterparts. This Scalar archive is a work in progress with new material and updates added every semester. The goal here is to exhibit that philosophy is inextricably tied to the arts and demonstrate how it can be used to illuminate the Style and "Substance" of an artwork. 


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