Dr. Robert Kraut

Dr. Robert Kraut

Ohio State University/Philosophy Department/350/University Hall/Columbus, Ohio 43210

As Saturday night’s keynote speaker (7:00 pm-8:30 pm), philosopher Dr. Robert Kraut from Ohio State University presents “The Epistemology of Jazz Performance: Testimony, Objectivity, and Critical Discourse.”

NOTE: Click on the aqua colored (this color) hyperlinks for more information.



  • Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, 1976 (Philosophy)

Dissertation: Objects (on the metaphysical foundations of modal semantics)

Advisor: Wilfrid Sellars

  • M.A. University of Pittsburgh, 1973 (Philosophy)
  • B.A. Brooklyn College, 1969


Ohio State University

  • Professor, Autumn 1993-present
  • Associate Professor, Autumn 1980-Autumn 1993
  • Assistant Professor, Autumn 1974-Autumn 1980

University of Pittsburgh

  • Visiting Associate Professor, Autumn 1982-Spring 1983
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Autumn 1975

Rutgers University

  • Visiting Professor, Fall 1986
  • Visiting Professor, Winter-Spring l986

Stanford University

  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center: 1995-96 (affiliated with the Stanford Philosophy Department)


  • Invited Member, Reinventing Pragmatism Research Team. Coordinated by David MacArthur (University of Sydney) and Bjørn Ramberg (University of Oslo), 2015-16.
  • Rodica C. Botoman Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring (College of Humanities, The Ohio State University), June 13, 2002.
  • Senior Fellow, Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities (The Ohio State University), 2000-2001.
  • Marta Sutton Weeks Fellow in the Humanities: Stanford Humanities Center, 1995-96.
  • Faculty Professional Leave, The Ohio State University, 1985-86.
  • Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Summer 1979.
  • Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1973-74.
  • NDEA IV Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1972-73.


Metaphysics, Aesthetic Theory, and Philosophy of Language


Philosophy Papers Online



Artworld Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 2007).

Paperback edition (April 2010)

“The discussions are smart and sharp, often doing much to clear the ground around these issues. . . . Its pace is brisk, but it remains lucid at speed.”

Zed Adams, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

Reviews of Artworld Metaphysics:

Articles (relevant samples):

  • Critical Notice: Art and Art-Attempts by Christy Mag Uidhir (Oxford University Press), Analysis 75 (October 2015), pp. 668-675.
  • “Pragmatism Without Idealism” (with Kevin Scharp), in Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 331-360.
  • Review of Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects (Oxford University Press, 2012); forthcoming in Mind.
  • “The Metaphysics of Artistic Expression: a Case Study in Projectivism,” in R. Johnson and M. Smith (eds.), Passions and Projections: Themes from the Philosophy of Simon Blackburn (Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 85-105.
  • “Aesthetic Theory for the Working Musician,” American Society for Aesthetics Newsletter Volume 32, Number 2 (Summer 2012).
  • “Ontology: Music and Art,” The Monist 95 (October 2012), pp. 684-710.
  • Jazz and Language,” in Goldblatt and Brown (eds.), Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts, Third Edition (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2010).
  • “Universals, Metaphysical Explanations, and Pragmatism,”Journal of Philosophy CVII (November 2010), pp. 590-609.
  • “Aesthetic Theory and Artistic Practice: Danto’s Transfiguration of the Artworld,” Online Conference in Aesthetics: Arthur Danto’s Transfiguration of the Commonplace— 25 Years Later (January 2007; http://artmind.typepad.com/onlineconference/).
  • “Why Does Jazz Matter To Aesthetic Theory?,”Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63:1 (Winter 2005), pp. 3-15.
  • “Perceiving the Music Correctly,” in Michael Krausz (ed.), The Interpretation of Music Philosophical Essays (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 103-116.
  • “The Possibility of a Determinate Semantics for Music,” in Jones and Holleran (eds.) Cognitive Bases of Musical Communication (American Psychological Association, 1992), pp. 11-22.
  • “Understanding Art,” Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, Vol. IV, Nos. 1-2 (1981), pp. 59-69.


  • “Aesthetic Testimony: Grounds for Optimism” (with Allison Massof) review of Robert Brandom, Reason in Philosophy: Animating Ideas, invited by History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
  • “Relation(s) between Artistic Practice and Aesthetic Theory,” invited by Leitmotiv: Topics in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art (an online journal).
  • No Exit: Essays in Pragmatist Metaphysics (book manuscript, 3/4 complete).

PRESENTATIONS (relevant samples):

  • “The Metaphysics of Artistic Expression,” invited lecture; The OSU/Maribor/Rijeka Conference on Analytic Philosophy: Art and Reality, Inter University Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2013.
  • “Cause vs. Content: Semantic Considerations on the Blues,” Invited Symposium paper, American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meetings (San Francisco), March 2013.
  • “Expression in Art: What It Is, Why It Matters,” invited lecture, Muskingum University, February 2013.
  • “Stravinsky and the Anti-Expressionist Tradition,” invited seminar, Department of Musicology, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), September 2010.
  • “Pragmatism and the Ontology of Art,” invited lecture, Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), September 2010.
  • “What is Artworld Ontology?,” Invited Symposium paper; American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division Meetings (New York City), December 2009.
  • “Expressivism about Ontology,” invited paper; Conference on Expressivism, Pluralism, and Representationalism; University of Sydney (Australia), July 2009.
  • “Playing and Saying: The Language of Jazz Performance,” Philosophy Department Colloquium; in conjunction with music clinic and concert performance; Morehead State University, October 2008.
  • “Remarks on Artworld Ontology,” American Society for Aesthetics, Eastern Division Meetings (Philadelphia), April 2008.
  • “Ontology and Artworld Interpretation,” Philosophy Department Colloquium, Vanderbilt University, March 2008.
  • “Music Does Not Express Emotions,” Philosophy Department Colloquium, St. Louis University, July 2006.
  • “Emotions in the Music,” invited paper; Conference on Mind and Music, Columbia University, March 2006.
  • “Why Does Jazz Matter to Aesthetic Theory?,” presented to the Department of Philosophy/Department of Music at Illinois State University (Normal, IL.); in conjunction with concert performance at “Jazz Under the Stars” concert, January 30-31, 2003.
  • “Legitimate Criticism in the Arts,” presented to the Department of Philosophy/Department of Music at Knox College in conjunction with concert performance at the Galesburg, IL. Jazz Festival, March 2001.
  • “Philosophical Reflections on Jazz Performance,” Institute For Cooperative Research and Public Humanities (Ohio State University), May 30, 2001.
  • “Metaphysics and Modern Art,” Department of Art History Colloquium; Ohio State University, April 1979.
  • “Modern Art and Modern Philosophy: Some Parallels,” Department of Philosophy, University of Tennessee, March 1979.
  • “The Subject Matter of Twentieth Century Art,” Public Lecture, Department of Art History Ohio State University, January 1979.
  • “Understanding Art,” American Society for Aesthetics, New York, October 1978.




Dr. Kraut is an active jazz musician on guitar and has been playing since he was nine years old. He has recorded three albums with the Tony Monaco Trio, alongside organist Tony Monaco and drummer Louis Tsamous, a group he has been part of since 1994. The trio has toured extensively.

Tony Monico Trio’s “Intimately Live at the 501” (2002)

Tony Monaco Trio (2002)

Another highlight in Kraut’s jazz career was playing with renowned jazz organist Brother Jack McDuff.