Hypatia 27 (4):810-827 (2012)

Authors
Leah Kalmanson
University of North Texas
Abstract
This article engages bell hooks's concept of “radical black subjectivity” through the lens of the Buddhist doctrine of no‐self. Relying on the Zen theorist Dōgen and on resources from Japanese aesthetics, I argue that non‐attachment to the self clarifies hooks's claim that radical subjectivity unites our capacity for critical resistance with our capacity to appreciate beauty. I frame this argument in terms of hooks's concern that postmodernist identity critiques dismiss the identity claims of disempowered peoples. On the one hand, identity critique has an emotional component, as it involves questioning the self and possibly letting go of aspects of that self in which a person has inevitably made emotional investments. On the other hand, it has an aesthetic component, as it opens a space for the creative crafting and recrafting of identity. Japanese aesthetics emphasizes that all aesthetic appreciation is accompanied by feelings of mournfulness, for the object of aesthetic appreciation is transient. Linking hooks's liberatory aesthetics with the resources of the Japanese tradition suggests that mournfulness in the face of self‐loss necessarily accompanies all instances of critical resistance. Thus non‐attachment becomes a useful framework in which to understand both the emotional and aesthetic components of empowered identity critique.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2011.01224.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,295
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary.Roger T. Ames - 2011 - The Chinese University Press.
Artistic Detachment in Japan and the West: Psychic Distance in Comparative Aesthetics.Steve Odin - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (3):291-292.
Piecings From a Second Reader.Natalie Alexander - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (2):177-187.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature.Malcolm Budd - 1996 - British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):207-222.
Hooks.Steven G. Smith - 2009 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (3):311-319.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-09-16

Total views
72 ( #148,615 of 2,448,711 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #302,846 of 2,448,711 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes