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)
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 Drawing on the full range of his published and unpublished writings, together with his comments on (...)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)
The period that has begun after the last quarter of the 19th century brings an open conflict between the ‘histori- cal’ aspect of modernity and the ‘aesthetical’ one. The situation raises a question about the modern architectural shape’s dependency on architectonic function. Utility, production, profit become the keywords of the ideology; new social utopias and their reflection on the architecture- for-the masses projects emerge. This leads to the urban alienation of the modern man, in spite of the well-intended (...) architectural functionalism and mechanistic comfort, both of them ideologically uphold in order to ensure an easy livelihood for the proletariat. Thus, the late modernity is constrained to retrieve though eclecticism the very values that has denied itself, the mixing of codes that it ‘performs’ nowadays standing for a new ideology, one of “the ending of ideologies”. (shrink)
This collection of essays explores the rise of aesthetics as a response to, and as a part of, the reshaping of the arts in modern society. The theories of art developed under the name of 'aesthetics' in the eighteenth century have traditionally been understood as contributions to a field of study in existence since the time of Plato. If art is a practice to be found in all human societies, then the philosophy of art is the search for universal (...) features of that practice, which can be stated in definitions of art and beauty. However, art as we know it - the system of 'fine arts' - is largely peculiar to modern society. Aesthetics, far from being a perennial discipline, emerged in an effort both to understand and to shape this new social practice. These essays share the conviction that aesthetic ideas can be fully understood when seen not only in relation to intellectual and social contexts, but as themselves constructed in history. (shrink)
Melancholia is a hybrid concept, deployed in feminist and philosophical theories politics and aesthetics, but ‘properly” belonging to neither. This heterogeneity of melancholia as both an aesthetic and a political category allows us to interrogate the interrelationship between gender politics and aesthetics without, however, abolishing their differences. Reinterpreted in the context of a feminist aesthetics, melancholia not only points to art’s origin in the unjust and gendered division of labor and power but also to the ethical and political task of (...) art to bear witness to the mute suffering of women cut off from the signifying possibilities of language. Moving beyond the entrenched oppositions between historicism/subjectivism, subject/object, or formalism /materialism, my own approach to an aesthetics of melancholia in women’s modern novels stresses unpredictable, conflicting migrations of pain between subjects and objects, political oppression and autonomous art, language and affect. (shrink)
Modern aesthetics in its early phase was “consciousness aesthetics” which upheld spirit but obviated body, hence offered demonstration for the priority of refined art as well as elite culture. In its later period, modern aesthetics converted into “somaesthetics” which, at the same time when it affirmed the identity of consciousness and body, laid particular stress on body, hence offered basis for the reasonableness of popular art as well as mass culture. Thus consciousness aesthetics and somaesthetics have their respective (...) reasonableness and limitation. We should transcend the opposition between them, acknowledging the spirit aspect of aesthetics as well as the body aspect of it and affirming the dominant position of spirit, so as to establish a modern aesthetics characterized by body-mind integration. (shrink)
In The Psychologizing of Modernity, Mark Jarzombek examines the impact of psychology on twentieth-century aesthetics. Analysing the interface between psychology, art history and avant-gardist practices, he also reflects on the longevity of the myth of aesthetic individuality as it infiltrated not only avant-garde art, but also history writing. The principal focus of this study is pre-World War II Germany, where theories of empathy and Entartung emerged; and post-war America, where artists, critics and historians gradually shifted from their reliance on psychology (...) to philosophy, and, most recently, to theory. Included are discussions of writers such as Heinrich Wölfflin, Ludwig Volkmann, John Dewey, Vincent Scully and Richard Arnheim, among others. The Psychologizing of Modernity is a broad and erudite study of the evolution of modern aesthetic thinking in the fields of art and architectural history. (shrink)
Ambitious in scope and innovative in concept, this book offers an overview and critique of the conventions surrounding artistic creativity and intellectual endeavour since the outset of 'the broader modernity', which the author sees as beginning with the decline of feudalism and the Church. As a work of intellectual history, it suggests that art and the conventions associated with the artistic constitute a secular institution that has supplanted pre-Reformation theology. Beginning with Luther, Calvin, and Shakespeare and culminating with the Kantian (...) notion of the artist as an 'original genius,' the author reconstructs the steps by which art and creative activity were installed as the redemptive values of a modernity. In the process, the author reads passages from Plato, Proust, Donne, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kleist, Rousseau, Melville, Wittgenstein, Benjamin, as well as the graphic works of Holbein, Dürer, Mondrian, and Rothko. (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)
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.
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.
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)
Over the course of the past forty years, Ge;rard Genette’s work has profoundly influenced scholars of narratology, poetics, aesthetics, and literary and cultural criticism, and he continues to be one of France’s most influential theorists. The eighteen pieces in Essays in Aesthetics are of international interest because they are concerned either with universal aesthetic problems (the receiver’s relationship to an aesthetic object, abstract art, the role of repetition in aesthetics, genre theory, and the rapport between literature and music) or with (...) specific moments in the work of a well-known writer or artist (such as Stendhal, Proust, Manet, Pissarro, and Canaletto). Essays in Aesthetics contains a wealth of material related to the appreciation of beauty by one of the subtlest and most original minds working in aesthetics today. Genette knows the fine arts as well as he knows literature and as a result has innovative things to say to readers in that field as well as to philosophers and literary scholars. (shrink)
While considered by many as one of the greatest philosophers of religion and metaphysicians of the 20th century, Charles Hartshorne’s (1897-2000) contributions to the study of aesthetics are perhaps the most neglected aspect of his extensive and highly nuanced thought. DIVINE BEAUTY offers the first detailed explication of Hartshorne’s aesthetic theory and its place within his theocentric philosophy.
The Continental Aesthetics Reader is the first comprehensive anthology of classic writings on art and aesthetics from the major figures in Continental thought. The Reader is divided into six sections, each clearly placed in its historical and philosophical context: Nineteenth Century German Aesthetics, Phenomenology and Hermeneutics, Marxism and Critical Theory, Poststructuralism and Postmodernism, and Psychoanalysis and Feminism. The collection features the most widely read and representative writings of each movement by 34 major thinkers: Kant * Sartre * Benjamin * Lyotard (...) * Hegel * Levinas * Blanchot * Deleuze * Nietzsche * Marx * Bloch * Freud * Heidegger * Lukacs * Bataille * Lacan * Dufrenne * Adorno * Foucault * Kristeva * Bachelard * Marcuse * Barthes * Irigaray * Merleau-Ponty * Habermas * Derrida * Cixous * Gadamer * Jameson * de Man * Vattimo * Simmel * Baudrillard Bringing together some of the most influential writings on aesthetics, continental philosophy, art and visual studies, The Continental Aesthetics Reader provides a thorough and much-needed introduction to the field. (shrink)
In this book, one of Italy's most important and original contemporary philosophers considers the status of art in the modern era. He takes seriously Hegel's claim that art has exhausted its spiritual vocation. He argues, however, that Hegel by no means proclaimed the 'death of art' (as many still imagine) but proclaimed rather the indefinite continuation of art in a 'self-annulling' mode. With astonishing breadth and originality, he probes the meaning, aesthetics, and historical consequences of that self-annulment. He argues (...) that the birth of modern aesthetics is the result of a series of schisms - such as between artist and spectator, genius and taste, and form and matter - that are manifestations of the deeper, self-negating yet self-perpetuating movement of irony. He offers an imaginative reinterpretation of the history of aesthetic theory from Kant to Heidegger. The final chapter offers a dazzling interpretation of Dürer's Melancholia. (shrink)
Sustaining Loss explores the uncanny, traumatic weaving together of the living and the dead in art, and the morbid fascination it holds for modern philosophical aesthetics. Beginning with Kant, the author traces how aesthetic theory has been drawn back repeatedly to the moving power of the undead body of the work of art. He locates the most potent expressions of this philosophical compulsion in Hegel's thesis that art is a thing of the past, and in Freud's view that the (...) work of art is the haunting of the present by the endless suffering of what is dead but still has claims over the living. Sustaining Loss examines not only Kant, Hegel, and Freud, but also the contemporary artists Gerhard Richter and Ilya Kabakov, whose art turns fruitfully against art's own past. (shrink)
Aesthetics in a Multicultural Age examines a variety of significant multidisciplinary and multicultural topics within the subject of aesthetics. Addressing the vexed relation of the arts and criticism to current political and cultural concerns, the contributors to this volume attempt to bridge the two decades-old gap between scholars and critics who hold conflicting views of the purposes of art and criticism. By exploring some of the ways in which global migration and expanding ethnic diversity are affecting cultural productions and prompting (...) reassessment of the nature and role of aesthetic discourse, this volume provides a new evaluation of aesthetic ideas and practices within contemporary arts and letters. (shrink)
Sport has become a significant part of the contemporary society culture. There has been developed a system of sciences dealing with sports. Philosophy figures prominently among them and it deals with aesthetic problems of sport. The problem of the aesthetic of sport is really of great importance as; first of all, it creates new fields of aesthetic activity and exerts aesthetic influence upon millions of people. Secondly, sports exert profound influence upon modern architecture, design, performing and fine arts, fashion (...) and lifestyle. Thirdly, sport has become one of important means of preservation and further development of traditions of national cultures and their aesthetic values. The development of sport is mainly determined by its aesthetic essence, therefore it is important to realize thespecific character of its content and avoid applying to it criteria of other kinds of aesthetic activity. The significance of the aesthetic aspect of sport is due to the fact that sport has contributed a lot to the development of human beings, their humanistic and aesthetic ideals, sensual image of a perfect man. The character of the contemporary society sport is complicated and controversial and therefore careful analysis of its content, of its structure and functions is necessary. (shrink)
This is a book focused primarily on reading the *Critique of Judgment* but which takes the central topics of it to be central to understanding the Critical Philosophy generally. It distinguishes types of aesthetics and teleology and in the process suggests an ambitious reconstruction of the landscape of Kant's architectonic.
Why has the ring of the telephone become a beep? What ever happened to the bumpers and fenders of cars? Why do food commercials never mention hunger?In this encyclopedia of low-brow aesthetics, Daniel Harris concentrates on the nuances of non-art, the uses of the useless, the politics of product design and advertising. We learn how advertisers exaggerate our sensual responses to eating, how close-up nature photography exaggerates the accessibility of the natural world, and how the mutated physiology of dolls invites (...) our pity and affection.In studying its aesthetics, we find consumerism instills disappointment rather than gratification, convincing us that our lives are deficient and wanting. If we are what we buy, then we must buy in order to be. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Foreword Hugh J. Silverman \ Translator's Introduction \ Author's New Preface \ Abbreviations \ 1. Aesthetics of Life \ 2. Aesthetics of Form \ 3. Aesthetics and Consciousness \ 4. Aesthetics and Action \ 5. Aesthetics and Feeling \ Conclusion: Towards a Theory of Feeling \ Notes \ Bibliography \ Index.
The Picturesque (a set of theories, ideas, and conventions which grew up around the question of how we look at landscape) offers a valuable focus for new investigations into the literary, artistic, social, and cultural history of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This volume of essays by scholars from various disciplines in Britain and America incorporates a range of historically and theoretically challenging approaches to the topic. It covers the writers most closely identified with the exposition of the Picturesque (...) as a theory, and also traces the influence and implications of its aesthetic in a variety of fields in the Romantic period, including literary and pictorial works, estate management, and women's fashion. Several essays deal more specifically with radical critiques and appropriations of the Picturesque in the nineteenth century, while in others, its influence is traced beyond traditionally accepted geographical or historical bounds. (shrink)
General rules and "of the standard of taste" -- Aesthetic beauty and moral beauty -- Antinomy and error -- Reflection and character -- Beauty and moral life -- Progress and prejudice -- Philosophy and moral life.
Against the assumption that aesthetic form relates to a harmonious arrangement of parts into a beautiful whole, this book argues that reason is the real theme of the Critique of Judgment as of the two earlier Critiques. Since aesthetic judgment of the beautiful becomes possible only when the mind is confronted with things of nature, for which no determined concepts of understanding are available, aesthetic judgment is involved in an epistemological or, rather, para-epistemological task. The predicate “beautiful” indicates that something (...) has minimal form and is cognizable. This book explores this concept of form, in particular the role of presentation (Darstellung) in what Kant refers to as “mere form,” which involves not only the understanding, but also reason as the faculty of ideas. Such a notion of form reveals why the beautiful can be related to the morally good. On the basis of this reinterpreted concept of form, most major concepts and themes of the Critique of Judgment—such as disinterestedness, free play, the sublime, genius, and beautiful arts—are examined by the author and shown in a new light. (shrink)
In praise of cruelty : Bataille, Kafka, and Ling-Chi -- Fragmentary description of a disaster : Claude Simon -- The resistance to pathos and the pathos of resistance : Peter Weiss -- Medeamachine : the "fallout" of violence in Heiner Müller -- Epilogue : Francis Bacon, or, The brutality of fact.
In this volume, the third in his classic series of texts surveying the history of art theory, Moshe Barasch traces the hidden patterns and interlocking themes in the study of art, from Impressionism to Abstract Art. Barasch details the immense social changes in the creation, presentation, and reception of art which have set the history of art theory on a vertiginous new course: the decreased relevance of workshops and art schools; the replacement of the treatise by the critical review; and (...) the interrelation of new modes of scientific inquiry with artistic theory and praxis. The consequent changes in the ways in which critics as well as artists conceptualized paintings and sculptures were radical, marked by an obsession with intense, immediate sensory experiences, psychological reflection on the effects of art, and a magnetic pull to the exotic and alien, making for the most exciting and fertile period in the history of art criticism. (shrink)
In recent times considerable controversy has raged around the question of postmodern culture and its products. Paul Crowther attempts to overcome some of the antagonistic viewpoints involved by expounding and developing key themes from the work of Kant and Merleau-Ponty in the context of contemporary culture. His work analyzes topics such as the relation between art and politics, the problems of poststructuralist and feminist approaches to art, the re-emergence and relevance of theories of the sublime, and the continuing possibilities of (...) artistic creativity. The central theme of the book is that there are constants in human experience around which art and philosophy turn. At the same time, however, due account must be given of the ways such constants are historically mediated. By articulating various aspects of this relation, Crowther shows that the postmodern sensibility can be more than that of an alienated consumerism. Understood in the proper theoretical context, it is grounded on experience and artifacts which humanize. (shrink)