Western art can encompass a range of ideas, such as class and gender, from diverse writers and theorists. ‘Thinking about art history’ looks at these areas. The problems of writing about visual experience are discussed — what do we do when the language we use to describe art objects is at odds with our visual experience of the objects themselves? The ideas of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, and Karl Marx are investigated. The different approaches of critical theorists such as Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida are also highlighted. The recent influence of Marxism, feminism and psychoanalysis is explored.