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October 22, 2008
Richard Shiff Doubt New York: Routledge, 2007. 216 pp.; 18 b/w ills. Paper $17.95 (9780415973090)

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The “doubt” of the title of this short but very interesting book is meant to be applied to art history. In Richard Shiff’s view, art historians and critics too often erect abstract systems on a partial apprehension of aspects of the artwork. He is as critical of interpretations that float somewhere above the particulars of an artwork as he is with those that do not admit exceptions to their own posited rules. For example, with...