Not Yet. The Philosophical Significance of Aesthetics

The paper asks for the preconditions and the consequences of the emergence of aesthetics in and for philosophy. The question is: what does it mean for philosophy to engage the question of the aesthetic? My answer will be: it means nothing less than putting philosophy in question. Or, more precisely: by engaging the question of the aesthetic, philosophy puts itself in question. In order to show this, I will refer to a brief passage in the Phenomenology of the Spirit and then attempt to turn it against what I take it to be Hegel’s own intention. The paper attempts to sketch this argument in three brisk moves by (1) distinguishing a philosophy of the “poetic” from a philosophy of the “aesthetic”; (2) describing the aesthetic as “regressive” and “(self-)reflexive”; and (3) sketching the paradoxical place of aesthetics within philosophy.  
Keywords The aesthetic, the poetic, Aristotle, Hegel, aesthetics within philosophy
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