Sculpting Ideas: Can Philosophy Be an Art Form?


Philosophy has been examining art for millennia. But can philosophy be an art form? An affirmative answer would raise interesting questions about philosophical self-reflexivity. In his Philosophical Explanations Robert Nozick raises this question, not for the above reason, but to suggest that such an answer would enhance both the methodology and the aim of philosophy, which is to show that human beings are valuable. I argue that to the extent that it satisfies Nozick’s and Arthur Danto’s conceptions of art, Plato’s Phaedo is an example of philosophy-as-art. But does philosophy need narrative in order to be art?