Arthur Danto has produced a body of work that includes epistemology, action theory, the philosophy of history, the history of philosophy, aesthetics, and art criticism. In addition to the impact of his recent critical essays, three books, in particular, have been influential: "Knowledge and Narrative", published in 1985 (containing the 1968 "Analytical Philosophy of History"), "Analytical Philosophy of Action", in 1973, and "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace", in 1981. These analyze the nature of historical narrative, the theory of action, and the evolution and ontology of art. An abiding concern in this work has been the attribution of content to various expressions of ideas, thoughts or beliefs: in knowledge claims, actions, and artworks. Accounting for the difference between apparently indistinguishable objects and events in these categories has been a methodological thread. "Arthur Danto and his Critics" contains an assessment of the systematic character of Danto's work in terms of the central role of representation in it.
Critical analyses focus on three main aspects of his theory of the content and status of representation, especially in visual art: intention, interpretation and the historical and cultural context. These essays, which include discussions of historicism, institutional theory, narrative, postmodernism, the relation of art to rhetoric and of aesthetics to the philosophy of mind, are followed by responses from Arthur Danto himself.