The essay begins with some historical considerations on design, philosophy and science. The subsequent reflections focus on the quasi-metaphysical prerequisites of the conditions under which design objects and design processes are produced and received. It is a question of the relationships that can be reconstructed – in the context of nature’s subjugation, work, and social interaction – between purposes of use and external and internal determination of form. Under the social conditions of the capitalist economy, design casts things, nature and people into commodity form. This makes it possible to communicate them and to communicate with them. And by doing this in an aesthetic way, design produces at the same time images or representations of things, nature and people beyond their commodity form. In the sphere of the aesthetic appearance of objects and processes, their functionalisation is exceeded. The aesthetic paradigm shift from the primacy of the form of the design object to the primacy of the social function of aesthetic practice – introduced by Walter Benjamin’s media aesthetics – is actualised in a contradictory fashion in contemporary high-tech communication.
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DOI 10.1515/dzph-2020-0030
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Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff.Ernst Cassirer - 1910 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 18 (6):7-8.
Wörterbuch der philosophischen Begriffe und Ausdrücke.Rudolf Eisler - 1900 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 49:306-309.

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