While feminist aestheticians have long interrogated gendered, raced, and classed hierarchies in the arts, feminist philosophers still don’t talk much about popular music. Even though Angela Davis and bell hooks have seriously engaged popular music, they are often situated on the margins of philosophy. It is my contention that feminist aesthetics has a lot to offer to the study of popular music, and the case of popular music points feminist aesthetics to some of its own limitations and unasked (...) questions. This essay addresses the paucity of work in feminist philosophy and popular music by (1) applying insights from other areas of feminist aesthetics (the role of gender in the art/craft distinction, concepts of genius and creativity, notions of active spectatorship, etc.) to questions of popular music, and (2) thereby using feminist aesthetics – specifically, Julia Kristea’s notion of female genius and the genius spectator – to critique itself. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that it is a promising avenue of research to consider philosophy of perception to be a guide to aesthetics. More precisely, my claim is that many, maybe even most, traditional problems in aesthetics are in fact about philosophy of perception that can, as a result, be fruitfully addressed with the help of the conceptual apparatus of philosophy of perception. This claim may sound provocative, but after qualifying what I mean by (...)aesthetics (to be contrasted with philosophy of art) and by philosophy of perception, it may be easier to accept. (shrink)
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.  . (shrink)
In order to understand why analytic aesthetics has lost a lot of its former intellectual stature it is necessary to combine historical reconstruction with systematic consideration. In the middle of the twentieth century analytic philosophers came to the conclusion that essentialist theories of the “nature” of art are no longer tenable. As a consequence they felt compelled to move to the meta-level of conceptual analysis. Then they tried to show how a purely classificatory concept of art is used. The (...) presupposition, however, that there actually is such a concept can only appear plausible at first sight. Upon closer inspection it turns out to be utterly misguided. (shrink)
This presentation argues that the question about “future” presupposes an analysis of the current state of the discipline, which again in turn must be seen in the light of its history. The presentation then unfolds a rough reconstruction of that history from Baumgarten and Kant, over Romanticism’s establishing of the partnership with Art and Truth in the continental tradition and up to 20th century’s settling with especially that tradition, led by endeavours both within art itself, in the art sciences, and (...) in different branches of philosophical aesthetics. On the basis of this, it finally discusses the future of aesthetics: its status as a scholarly discipline, the need for it in our world, and proposes some issues to be at aesthetics’ future agenda of research. (shrink)
Reflections on the relationship of aesthetics to politics tend to circle, almost compulsively, around a relatively stable set of conceptual oppositions, inherited from German philosophies of the late 18th century. This essay proposes an expansion of the theoretical terms of the debate by extending the field of transcendental aesthetics into the domain of historical temporalization. Fundamental art-historical categories may thereby be incorporated, philosophically transformed, into ‘aesthetics’ as forms of historical temporalization: avant-garde, modern, contemporary. The essay expounds two (...) theses, in particular: 1. The historical subsumption of the temporality of the avant-garde by the temporality of the modern: the modern stands to the avant-garde as the negation of its politics by the repetition of the new –‘the new as the ever–same’; 2. the historical subsumption of the temporality of the modern by ‘the contemporary’: the contemporary stands to the modern as the negation of the dialectical logic – and hence specifically developmentalist futurity – of the new by a spatially determined, but imaginary co-presencing. One effect of this latter subsumption, it is argued, is a particular, regressive ‘repetition of the national’, at the level of cultural representation, on the terrain of the global. (shrink)
Aesthetic discourse has always openly or secretly been linked to political projects. According to some main strands of aesthetic discourse modern aesthetics mirrors the structure of social and political emancipation and key elements of aesthetic discourse coincide with the political ontology of the left. Marxist and Post-Marxist critics have emphasized that the struggle for emancipation is indirectly present in the historical constitution of aesthetics as a discipline – although in a merely imaginary and displaced form. Therefore, however, it (...) is also partly of the same structure as what is normally described as “aesthetic”. Against this background aesthetic attributes (‘beauty’) can be ascribed to forms of emancipatory politics as well. (shrink)
This paper originated as the keynote address at the conference “Aesthetics Today” organized by the Finnish Society of Aesthetics to mark its 40th anniversary and was delivered at the University of Helsinki on March 1, 2012. Written for that particular occasion the sense of an oral presentation has been maintained. Shusterman’s point of departure is the thesis that contemporary aesthetics can be characterized by a number of leading themes that mark a return to older aesthetic perspectives, after (...) these perspectives have been neglected in modern philosophical discussions. The paper briefly outlines and explores three of these themes whose increasing importance in current aesthetics can appeal to historical antecedents, namely: a focus on perception, the expansion of the aesthetic field beyond the philosophy of fine art, and the close connection of the aesthetic and the practical. After that, Shusterman formulates a fourth theme in aesthetics today which incorporates the first three and whose value for contemporary aesthetics he seeks to highlight, namely: the somatic, as exemplified by somaesthetics. (shrink)
René Girard’s mimetic theory has significantly influenced the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies, as well as sociological anthropology and philosophy. Nevertheless, I argue that a somewhat different line of interpretation, an interdisciplinary one, has not been sufficiently investigated. This involves an interpretation which focuses on the vicissitudes of the mimetic and “victimage” circle not (or not only) in sociological terms, but by analysing their articulation on the level of knowledge. The sociological and epistemological perspectives do not exclude each (...) other, but can be integrated. The main aim of this paper is to clarify this articulation, and to show that integration between these two perspectives is possible only by bringing into play a real ‘literary aesthetics’. The notion of literary aesthetics needs to be considered in both the common and the etymological sense, as a theory of feeling and of experiencing. In doing so, I firstly cover in brief the main stages of Girard’s thought in the light of this perspective, to then focus on the relationship between literary aesthetics and knowledge. Finally I argue that this picture, if seriously considered, could lead to a mystical outcome, and will discuss the possible alternatives to that outcome. (shrink)
Can indistinguishable objects differ aesthetically? Manifestationism answers ‘no’ on the grounds that (i) aesthetically significant features of an object must show up in our experience of it; and (ii) a feature—aesthetic or not—figures in our experience only if we can discriminate its presence. Goodman’s response to Manifestationism has been much discussed, but little understood. I explain and reject it. I then explore an alternative. Doubles can differ aesthetically provided, first, it is possible to experience them differently; and, second, those experiences (...) reflect differences in the objects’ themselves. A range of objections to this position is considered, but all are found wanting. (shrink)
This article examines an often-mentioned but largely undeveloped concept in the work of Giorgio Agamben and in particular his Homo Sacer project: form-of-life. What is at stake in this concept is, I attempt to show, a way of thinking “politics” outside of the space of sovereignty. By examining a short text on this notion published just before the opening installment of the Homo Sacer sequence, this article demonstrates the way this early formulation of the concept is indebted to certain strains (...) of Italian workerist and post-workerist thought. The fundamental question this analysis poses, however, is whether the concept of form-of-life, being to some extent “beyond” the classical space of politics, should in fact be understood as fundamentally aesthetic in nature. (shrink)
This article is in two parts, with part II to appear in the next issue of JAE (Spring 2013). Part I (with six sections), in this issue, has two related objectives. The first objective is to examine a number of key substantive, methodological, and science-practice issues related to the field designated here as empirical psycho-aesthetics. The second objective is to present an outline of its origin and discuss certain important features of several related fields—experimental philosophy, cognitive-science-and-art, (cognitive) neuroscience of (...) art, and neuroaesthetics. To a certain extent, the comparative goal is approached through the analysis of several recent significant controversies. Throughout the discussion, the .. (shrink)
Aesthetics and the Environment presents fresh and fascinating insights into our interpretation of the environment. Traditional aesthetics is often associated with the appreciation of art, but Allen Carlson shows how much of our aesthetic experience does not encompass art but nature--in our response to sunsets, mountains or horizons or more mundane surroundings, like gardens or the view from our window. Carlson argues that knowledge of what it is we are appreciating is essential to having an appropriate aesthetic experience (...) and that a scientific understanding of nature can enhance our appreciation of it, rather than denigrate it. (shrink)
The aesthetics of nature has over the last few decades become an intense focus of philosophical reflection, as it has been ever more widely recognised that it is not a mere appendage to the aesthetics of art. Everyone delights in the beauty of flowers, and some are thrilled by the immensity of mountains or of the night sky. But what is involved in serious aesthetic appreciation of the natural world? Malcolm Budd presents four interlinked studies in the (...) class='Hi'>aesthetics of nature, approaching the subject from a variety of angles. As well as developing Budd's own original ideas, the book provides a comprehensive treatment of Kant's classic aesthetics of nature, and an encyclopaedic critical survey of recent literature on the subject. (shrink)
Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today. Brings together fresh debates on eleven of the most controversial issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of art Topics addressed include the nature of beauty, aesthetic experience, artistic value, and the nature of our emotional responses to art. Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and (...) especially commissioned for the volume. Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in aesthetics, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. (shrink)
A complete collection of Frank Sibley's articles on philosophical aesthetics, this volume includes five, remarkable, hitherto unpublished papers written in Sibley's later years. It addresses many topics, among them the nature of aesthetic qualities versus non-aesthetic qualities, the relation of aesthetic description to aesthetic evaluation, the different levels of evaluation, and the objectivity of aesthetic judgement. The later papers constitute both a significant development of Sibley's individual approach to aesthetics, such as his discussion of the distinction between attributive (...) and predicative uses of adjectives and of the aesthetic significance of tastes and smells, a topic Sibley considered to be much neglected. (shrink)
Contemplating Art is a compendium of writings from the last ten years by one of the leading figures in aesthetics, Jerrold Levinson. The twenty-four essays range over issues in general aesthetics and those relating to specific arts--in particular music, film, and literature. It will appeal not only to philosophers but also to musicologists, literary theorists, art critics, and reflective lovers of the arts.
Neglect of everyday aesthetics -- Significance of everyday aesthetics -- Aesthetics of distinctive characteristics and ambience -- Everyday aesthetic qualities and transience -- Moral-aesthetic judgments of artifacts.
I: Environmental aesthetics -- A phenomenological aesthetics of environment -- Aesthetic dimensions of environmental design -- Down the garden path -- The wilderness city : a study of metaphorical experience -- Aesthetics of the coastal environment -- The world from the water -- Is there life in virtual space? -- Is greasy lake a place? -- Embodied music -- II: Social aesthetics -- The idea of a cultural aesthetic -- The social evaluation of art -- Subsidization (...) of art as social policy -- Morality and the artist : toward an ethics of art -- Getting along beautifully : ideas for a social aesthetics. (shrink)
In his Critical Aesthetics and Postmodernism, Paul Crowther argued that art and aesthetic experiences have the capacity to humanize. In Art and Embodiment he develops this theme in much greater depth, arguing that art can bridge the gap between philosophy's traditional striving for generality and completeness, and the concreteness and contingency of humanity's basic relation to the world. As the key element in his theory, he proposes an ecological definition of art. His strategy involves first mapping out and analyzing (...) the logical boundaries and ontological structures of the aesthetic domain. He then considers key concepts from this analysis in the light of a tradition in Continental philosophy (notably the work of Kant, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Hegel) which--by virtue of the philosophical significance that it assigns to art--significantly anticipates the ecological conception. On this basis, Crowther is able to give a full formulation of his ecological definition. Art, in making sensible or imaginative material into symbolic form, harmonizes and conserves what is unique and what is general in human experience. The aesthetic domain answers basic needs intrinsic to self-consciousness itself, and art is the highest realization of such needs. In the creation and reception of art the embodied subject is fully at home with his or her environment. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the preeminent Kant scholars of our time transforms our understanding of both Kant's aesthetics and his ethics. Guyer shows that at the very core of Kant's aesthetic theory, disinterestedness of taste becomes an experience of freedom and thus an essential accompaniment to morality itself. At the same time he reveals how Kant's moral theory includes a distinctive place for the cultivation of both general moral sentiments and particular attachments on the basis of (...) the most rigorous principle of duty. Kant's thought is placed in a rich historical context including such figures as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Burke, Kames, as well as Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, Schiller, and Hegel. Other topics treated are the sublime, natural versus artistic beauty, genius and art history, and duty and inclination. These essays (half being published for the first time) extend and enrich the account of Kant's aesthetics in the author's earlier book, Kant and the Claims of Taste (1979). (shrink)
Polanyi insisted that scientific knowledge was intensely personal in nature, though held with universal intent. His insights regarding the personal values of beauty and morality in science are first enunciated. These are then explored for their relevance to engineering. It is shown that the practice of engineering is also governed by aesthetics and ethics. For example, Polanyi’s three spheres of morality in science—that of the individual scientist, the scientific community and the wider society—has parallel entities in engineering. The existence (...) of shared values in engineering is also demonstrated, in aesthetics through an example that shows convergence of practitioner opinion to solutions that represent accepted models of aesthetics; and in ethics through the recognition that many professional engineering institutions hold that the safety of the public supersedes the interests of the client. Such professional consensus can be seen as justification for studying engineering aesthetics and ethics as inter-subjective disciplines. (shrink)
This major collection of essays stands at the border of aesthetics and ethics and deals with charged issues of practical import: art and morality, the ethics of taste, and censorship. As such its potential interest is by no means confined to professional philosophers; it should also appeal to art historians and critics, literary theorists, and students of film. Prominent philosophers in both aesthetics and ethics tackle a wide array of issues. Some of the questions explored in the volume (...) include: Can art be morally enlightening and, if so, how? If a work of art is morally better does that make it better as art? Is morally deficient art to be shunned, or even censored? Do subjects of artworks have rights as to how they are represented? Do artists have duties as artists and duties as human beings, and if so, to whom? How much tension is there between the demands of art and the demands of life? (shrink)
The development and nature of environmental aesthetics -- Aesthetic appreciation and the natural environment -- The requirements for an adequate aesthetics of nature -- Aesthetic appreciation and the human environment -- Appreciation of the human environment under different conceptions -- Aesthetic appreciation and the agricultural landscape -- What is the correct way to aesthetically appreciate landscapes?
Leading young scholars present a collection of wide-ranging essays covering central problems in meta-aesthetics and aesthetic issues in the philosophy of mind, as well as offering analyses of key aesthetic concepts, new perspectives on the history of aesthetics, and specialized treatment of individual art forms.
This volume explores the relationship between Kant's aesthetic theory and his critical epistemology as articulated in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of the Power of Judgment. The essays, written specially for this volume, revise our understanding of core elements of Kant's epistemology, such as his notions of discursive understanding, experience, and objective judgment. They also demonstrate a rich grasp of Kant's critical epistemology that enables a deeper understanding of his aesthetics. Collectively, the essays reveal that Kant's (...) critical project, and the dialectics of aesthetics and cognition within it, is still relevant to contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and the nature of experience and objectivity. The book also yields important lessons about the ineliminable, yet problematic place of imagination, sensibility and aesthetic experience in perception and cognition. (shrink)
Emotion in Aesthetics is the first book on aesthetics to provide an extensive theory of emotion; application of the cognitive-emotive theory to aesthetics; analysis of the relationship between aesthetics, metaphor and emotion; a full theory of meaning and its application to aesthetics; discussion of the relationship between aesthetics, music and language in terms of phonetics, phonology and intonation; an analysis of humanistic aesthetics; a well-developed naturalistic theory of ethics as applied to aesthetics (...) and emotion. Stress is placed on the views of contemporary philosophers as well as some of the main historical accounts of emotion in aesthetics. The important recent work on emotion has not hitherto been applied to aesthetics. As a result there is still much confusion in aesthetics about aesthetic emotion and related concepts, such as the expression theory of emotion. The present book has been written to show how the theory can be used to clarify the issue, resulting in a major breakthrough in aesthetics. In addition, the theory presented is valuable in relating aesthetics to ethics and humanism. (shrink)
Through comparisons between traditional Chinese and Western aesthetics, this article tries to explain the worldwide significance of Chinese aesthetic tradition in the twenty-first century. In contrast to cognitive-rational spirit and the tendency to distinguish the subjectives and objectives of traditional Western aesthetics, traditional Chinese aesthetics shows a distinctive practical-emotional spirit and a tendency to harmoniously unite human beings with nature, and believes that beauty is, first and foremost, a free state or way (Dao) of human life; the (...) most important thing for human beings is how to make their own lives and existence beautiful. Therefore, it puts forward some persuasive and valuable insights into beauty and art, thus playing an independent and constructive role in intercultural aesthetic dialogues of the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Experimental phenomenology has demonstrated that perception is much richer than stimulus. As is seen in color perception, one and the same stimulus provides more than several modes of appearance or perceptual dimensions. Similarly, there are various perceptual dimensions in form perception. Even a simple geometrical figure inducing visual illusion gives not only perceptual impressions of size, shape, slant, depth, and orientation, but also affective or aesthetic impressions. The present study reviews our experimental phenomenological work on visual illusion and experimental (...) class='Hi'>aesthetics, and examines how aesthetic preference is influenced by stimulus factors determining visual illusions including anomalous surface and transparency as well as geometrical illusion. Along with line figures producing geometrical illusions, illusory surface figures inducing neon color spreading and transparency effects were used as test patterns. Participants made both of psychophysical judgments and of aesthetic judgments for the same test pattern. Both of geometrical illusions and aesthetic preferences were found to change similarly as a function of stimulus variables such as the number of filling lines and the size ratio of the inner and outer figural components. Also, following specific stimulus variables such as lightness contrast ratio and spatial interval between inducing figural elements (so called ``packmen''), strong effects of color spreading and transparency were accompanied with strong preferences. It seems that the paradigm to investigate aesthetic phenomena along with perceptual dimensions is useful to bridge the gap between experimental phenomenology and experimental aesthetics. (shrink)
Although philosophers have characteristically taken the view that art is a vehicle of some universal meaning or truth, art historians emphasize the concrete, historical location of the individual work of art. Is aesthetics capable of sustaining these two approaches? Or, as Michael Kelly argues: Is art actually determined by its historical particularity? His book covers the views of four philosophers--Heidegger, Adorno, Derrida, and Danto--ultimately iconoclasts, despite their significant philosophical engagement with the arts.
Aesthetics is a vexed topic in philosophy, with a long history. For my purposes, an aesthetic experience is a foundational affective response to an object, to which terms such as “ugly”, “beautiful”, “pretty” or “harmonious” are applied. These terms are derived from a Discourse of aesthetics; some remain constant, others change from generation to generation. Aesthetics and ethics have been linked in Western thought since the days of Plato and Aristotle. This essay examines what is happening to (...) that link in contemporary experience. It emphasises the ways in which the popular media exploit aesthetic appeal to penetrate their market, and to exploit and frame intuitive responses to current and past events. Production values, the artfulness of editors and the financial interests of producers and directors thus do much to determine contemporary aesthetic and ethical judgements. That which is beautifully presented invites the ethical involvement of the audience. Events whose images are beautifully presented constitute “hyperevidence”, a pre-judged, reinforced and amplified illusion of reality and participation. Understanding how aesthetic excellence draws audiences into ethical relationship with what is presented becomes an important part of education in ethics, including bioethics. (shrink)
Nietzsche, Aesthetics and Modernity analyzes Nietzsche's response to the aesthetic tradition, tracing in particular the complex relationship between the work and thought of Nietzsche, Kant, and Hegel. Focusing in particular on the critical role of negation and sublimity in Nietzsche's account of art, it explores his confrontation with modernity and his attempt to posit a revitalized artistic practice as the counter-movement to modern nihilism. Drawing on the full range of his published and unpublished writings, together with his comments on (...) figures as diverse as Wagner, Zola, Delacroix, and Laurence Sterne, it highlights the extent to which Nietzsche counters the culture of his own time with a dialectical notion of aesthetic interpretation and practice. As such, Nietzsche the dialectician articulates a position that proves to be intimately connected to the negative dialects of Theodor Adorno. (shrink)
Translator's introduction -- Preface -- Part I: The aesthetics of politics -- Ten theses on politics -- Does democracy mean something? -- Who is the subject of the rights of man? -- Communism : from actuality to inactuality -- The people or the multitudes -- Bio-politics or politics -- September 11 and afterwards : a rupture in the symbolic order -- Of war as the supreme form of advanced plutocratic consensus -- Part II: The politics of aesthetics -- (...) The aesthetic revolution and its outcomes -- The paradoxes of political art -- The politics of literature -- The monument and its confidences or Deleuze and Art's capacity for resistance -- The ethical turn of aesthetics and politics -- Part III: Response to critics -- The usage of distinctions. (shrink)
This book proposes that aesthetics begin not with concepts of being or semblance, but with a concept of appearing. Appearing bespeaks of the reality that all aesthetic objects share, however different they may otherwise be. For Martin Seel, appearing plays its part everywhere in the aesthetic realm, in all aesthetic activity. In his book, Seel examines the existential and cultural meaning of aesthetic experience. In doing so, he brings aesthetics and philosophy of art together again, which in continental (...) as well as analytical thinking have been more and more separated in the recent decades. Within Seel’s framework, to apprehend things and events with respect to how they appear momentarily and simultaneously to our senses represents a genuine way for human beings to encounter the world. The consciousness that emerges here is an anthropologically central faculty. In perceiving the unfathomable particularity of a sensuously given we gain insight into the indeterminable of our lives. Attentiveness to what is appearing is therefore at the same time attentiveness to ourselves. This is also the case when works of art imagine past or future, probable or improbable presences. Artworks develop their transgressive energy from their presence as sense-catching forms. They bring about a special presence in which a presentation of close or distant presences comes about. (shrink)
These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy. -/- What is art? Must art be beautiful? Must art be politically or culturally significant? How does art differ from other products of human activity? Joseph Margolis has spent decades thinking through these and related questions. In this book, he introduces his reader to the field of Aesthetics by thinking through the most fundamental philosophical questions (...) about art in a way that is engaging and accessible. This book could be used alongside a textbook of classic readings in Aesthetics, or as a stand-alone text in Aesthetics. THE WADSWORTH PHILOSOPHICAL TOPICS SERIES presents readers with concise, timely, and insightful introductions to a variety of traditional and contemporary philosophical subjects. With this series, students of philosophy will be able to discover the richness of philosophical inquiry across a wide array of concepts, including hallmark philosophical themes and themes typically underrepresented in mainstream philosophy publishing. Written by a distinguished list of scholars who have garnered particular recognition for their excellence in teaching, this series presents the vast sweep of today's philosophical exploration in highly accessible and affordable volumes. These books will prove valuable to philosophy teachers and their students as well as to other readers who share a general interest in philosophy. (shrink)
Most books on aesthetics tend to be either too theoretical for the arts or not theoretical enough for philosophy. This book strikes a new and better balance between these competing interests. By taking a normative question--why should we value the arts?--it manages to develop a genuinely philosophical understanding of art and its value while never losing sight of the poems, pictures and music which draw and sustain interest in the arts. In this new second edition, chapters have been revised (...) to include new material and also an added chapter about the subjectivity of aesthetic judgement, the importance of the artist's intention and the possibility of an aesthetic appreciation of nature. The book concludes with a critical survey of art theories and introduces some complex issues surrounding disputes between Marxism, structuralism and postmodernism. (shrink)
The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics brings the authority, liveliness, and multi-disciplinary scope of the Handbook series to a fascinating theme in philosophy and the arts. Jerrold Levinson has assembled a hugely impressive range of talent to contribute 48 brand-new essays, making this the most comprehensive guide available to the theory, application, history, and future of the field. This Handbook will be invaluable to academics and students across philosophy and all branches of the arts, both as the reference work of (...) choice and as a stimulus to new research and creativity. (shrink)
Wolfgang Welsch examines global aestheticization phenomena, probes the relationship of aesthetics and ethics, and considers the broad relevance of aesthetics for contemporary thinking. He argues that modes of thought familiar from the aesthetic realm comprise fundamental paradigms for understanding todayÆs reality. The implications for specific and everyday issues are demonstrated in studies of architecture, advertising, the Internet, and our perception of the life world. Surgically precise, innovative, and, above all, relevant, this book is an essential resource, providing the (...) analysis of contemporary culture with philosophical bite. Aesthetics is to transcend itself, address the whole realm of aethesis, and hence enable orientation in the contemporary condition. Undoing aesthetics means releasing it from old cultural binds and giving it new ties with the future. (shrink)
This essay is an attempt to understand the reasons for the current crisis of musical aesthetics. It examines the function of this discipline as the mediator between philosophy and musicology, it inquires into its connections with the ideals of autonomy, beauty and free subjectivity. During the 20th Century, major changes in society and their communication forms happened; anthropology and semiotics began to compete with aesthetics in explaining musical facts. The last paragraphs test the chances of resistance (...) of musical aesthetics; musical meaning appears to be the only question which endured in spite of the considerable fragmentation and loss of profile of musical experience. (shrink)
In this paper, my aim is to show that in Anglo-American analytic aesthetics, the conception of narrative fiction is in general realistic and that it derives from philosophical theories of fiction-making, the act of producing works of literary narrative fiction. I shall firstly broadly show the origins of the problem and illustrate how the so-called realistic fallacy – the view which maintains that fictions consist of propositions which represent the fictional world “as it is” – is committed through the (...) history of philosophical approaches to literature in the analytic tradition. Secondly, I shall show how the fallacy that derives from the 20th Century philosophy of language manifests itself in contemporary analytic aesthetics, using Peter Lamarque and Stein Haugom Olsen’s influential and well-known Gricean make-believe theory of fiction as an example. Finally, I shall sketch how the prevailing Gricean make-believe theories should be modified in order to reach the literary-fictive use of language and to cover fictions broader than Doyle’s stories and works alike. (shrink)
This essay explores aesthetics, affect, and educational politics through the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Rancière. It contextualizes and contrasts the theoretical valences of their ethical and democratic projects through their shared critique of Kant. It then puts Rancière's notion of dissensus to work by exploring it in relation to a social movement and hunger strike organized for educational justice in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. This serves as a context for understanding how educational provisions are linked to the (...) aesthetic distribution of perception within the neoliberal city. It also serves as a powerful example of how these orders of perception are resisted and subverted at the local level by aesthetic and affective means. Through the Little Village hunger strike the essay argues that while Rancière allows us to recognize the aesthetic dimensions of the political, he falls short in addressing tactical and/or affective considerations. The essay concludes by seeking to extend the critical efficacy of Rancière's dissensus through a rendering of tactical affect within Deleuzian metaphysics. (shrink)