Beauty and the destitution of technology

The tension between beauty and technology is evinced in the modern distinction within technē itself between technology and “fine art.” Yet while beauty,as Kant observes, is never a means to an end, neither is it an “end in itself.” Beauty points beyond itself while refusing subordination to human interests. Both its noninstrumentality and its self-transcending character I trace to the intrinsic necessity of the beautiful, which is essentially impersonal while paradoxically being an object of love. I suggest that we conceive of beauty as an “anonymous voice,” and I relate the latter to Heidegger’s critique of modern technology as a projection upon nature of “resource being.” I conclude that technology can be creative rather than destructive of beauty when it lets natural ends, which are inescapably in conflict with one another, transcend themselves through self-sacrifice
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DOI 10.5840/acpq200781150
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