This article charts the emergence since the 1950s of a new value category, staging value, which arises when capitalism moves from addressing people's needs to exploiting their desires. Staging values serve the intensification and heightening of life rather than the satisfaction of primary needs. The article reevaluates successive theories on the relationship between aesthetics and the economy in the light of these changes, and suggests the continued relevance of critical theory in the era of the aesthetic economy.
The concept of atmosphere may be defined as tuned space, i.e. space with a mood. This concept opens a lot of new perspectives for Aesthetics. The very paradigm of it is stage design. Stage designers install a certain climate on the stage. But in our days almost everything is staged. Thus the theory of atmosphere finds applications in Commodity Aesthetics, Design, Architecture, but also the staging of politics as well as the staging of a person through a certain life-style is (...) a field of application. Finally the Aesthetics of Atmosphere helps to understand art, in particular performative art and music. (shrink)
Die Gegner der Finalisierungsthese setzen sich in der Regel nur mit dem Projektentwurf der Starnberger Gruppe, nicht mit ihren substantiellen Forschungen, noch viel weniger mit der Sache selbst auseinander, so auch M. Tietzel in Z. f. allg. Wissenschaftstheorie IX, 2, 1978. Als Replik wird deshalb hier ein Stück dieser substantiellen Untersuchungen veröffentlicht: Es geht um die Frage, ob dem Begriff "abgeschlossene Theorie" ein ausweisbarer Sinn gegeben werden kann. Dies wird untersucht durch Analyse der Theoriestruktur der klassischen Hydrodynamik. Hier läßt sich (...) eine systematische Beziehung zwischen der Struktur der Theorie und der empirischen Charakterisierung der Gegenstände, auf die sie sich bezieht , nachweisen. Die Theorie wird also mit Notwendigkeit gültig sein, kann also in diesem Sinne auf der entsprechenden Gegenstandsklasse als abgeschlossen angesehen werden. (shrink)
The demand for a concept—for a definition specifying what one means by a term (or, for a thing, what it actually consists of)—is a classical requirement of philosophy. As a rule, however, this demand can scarcely be satisfied, and there are good reasons for not wanting to satisfy it. For a definition is always a way of fixing something, and a concept is an intervention in the manifold diversity of things and phenomena that freezes them. The defense of the diversity (...) of the particular and, to speak with Adorno, of the nonidentical is also an aim of phenomenology. The demand for a concept and the preservation of phenomena therefore appear to be in conflict with one another. The idea of formulating a concept .. (shrink)
Beauty was once the main or even exclusive topic of aesthetics. Now, two hundred years after Karl Rosenkranz’s Aesthetics of Ugliness and a formidable development of fine arts in which many atmospheres beyond the edge of beauty were produced, it may be time again to ask the fundamental question of what the beautiful is like. But putting this question we notice that since the 18th century our aesthetical experience has deeply changed, so that the concept of traditional beauty must be (...) changed itself. (shrink)
As its subtitle suggests, the essay is a phenomenological account of the diverse ways in which light can be experienced by the senses. Gernot Böhme divides these experiences into two types depending on whether they concern the relation between light and space or between light and objects. Böhme sees the synthesis of both these types of experiences in the illumination phenomenon, in which spatial/light effects and the way in which objects are illuminated combine to create a specific atmos-phere during the (...) sensual, bodily experiencing of space. Böhme also discusses the applications of light effects in contemporary architecture and art. (shrink)
Summary This paper attempts to distinguish the methods of the constitution of a realm of scientific objects from the methods of their mathematical representation. In its investigations into the procedures for forming quantitative concepts analytical philosophy of science has thematized the numerical representation of empirical relational systems (metricizing). It is the task of an historical epistemology to identify the methods and historical processes through which relams of phenomena have been made representable in such a way (quantification). In preparing such investigations (...) conceptual distinctions are made, in particular between quantities and scales. (shrink)
This article deals with the question of what type of ethics may be efficient to cope with actual problems in advanced societies, i.e. environmental problems, social conflicts, the usage of new technologies. The answer given is that it is not morality or ethical decisions that count but the customary (das Übliche). But the customary is a rather precarious resource. This is not only because it may turn out to be the particularistic orientation of social groups, like those of companies, political (...) parties, or even peer groups but also because it is eaten up by the progress of modernity. This is shown by comparison with the historical forerunner of the customary, namely what has been called ethical life (substantielle Sittlichkeit) by Hegel. (shrink)
In this essay about the philosophy of human corporeality Böhme asks about the sense of the I—body relation. He enters a polemic with Hegel, who wrote about the self-appropriation of the own body in acts of will, and points to passive acts of bodily sensing like experiencing pain or fear as that which builds an awareness of the own body’s “mineness.” Böhme calls this awareness affected self-givenness, linguistically articulated by the pronouns “mine” and “me,” which are genetically precedent to awareness (...) and the pronoun “I”. Against this categorial background Böhme considers the argumentative role both these philosophical models of the I—body relation could play in contemporary debates on the diverse cultural forms in which the human body has been commercialised. (shrink)
The author reflects on the anthropological role of the “self-cultivation” category in the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant, for whom self-cultivation stood as the central idea of the Enlightenment. Kant believed that it was man alone who created himself to a rational being, that his rationality was not a granted good but something he had to mature to by way of multiple disciplinary, civilizing and moralizing measures. An interesting avenue in Gernot Böhme’s approach is his assumption that this conceptual perspective (...) applied to all three Kantian Critiques, e.g., that Critique of Pure Reason propounds the disciplining of human cognition under the banner of subordinating the sphere of intuition to the categories of intellect. These categories are not inborn in the human mind, but are built by the willful disciplining of the perceptual elements of cognition anchored in the animal fundaments of the humanum. Towards the close of his essay Böhme attempts a critique of Kant’s philosophy, accusing it of reductionism and depreciating many anthropological powers. (shrink)
This article contains some further clarifications of the postitions held by the 'Starnberg Group', i.e. the constitution theory and the finalization theory with particular respect to the case of Classical Hydrodynamics. It is an answer to G. Eberlein und N. Dietrich who recently published a full monography dedicated to criticism of these positions.
The author asks about the conceptual tools which would enable a critique of contemporary capitalism without falling back to Utopianism and its historically-discredited theses. With the help of paired categories like community–society, human dignity–self-awareness, need–desire, Gernot Böhme portrays the deficiencies of contemporary Western social reality, e.g. the steadily exhausting reserves of the highly-bureaucratised welfare state system, the rapidly mounting differences in income, or the negative moral and psychological effects of unemployment and the so-called precariat. Böhme presents his critique of “aesthetic (...) capitalism,” which does not satisfy human needs in the Marxist sense but rather the aesthetically-refined consumer desires of today’s affluent societies, in reference to the views of contemporary critical theory authorities. (shrink)
In the paper Gernot Böhme considers the spatial aspects of the perception of sound, especially the human voice, which he sees not as a verbal bearer of meaning but the expression of “the speaker’s atmospheric presence.” The voice lends the communication space emotional colour and the atmospheres it creates envelop the communication partners by way of resonance. The author sets the signatures concept propounded by the Renaissance philosopher Jacob Böhme against semiotic theories: understanding music is not interpretation but resonance. Gernot (...) Böhme also focuses on contemporary experimental music, where musical instruments are not treated as tools for the production of musical sounds but bodies “provoked” to generate specific sounds in the acoustic space. (shrink)
Gernot Böhme defines meditation as achieving specific states of consciousness by concentration and “switching off” the attention usually paid to diverse areas of everyday life. Böhme goes on to discuss what he considers to be the main meditation-generated forms of consciousness, like non-intentional consciousness, empty consciousness, consciousness of presence, the awareness of nonduality, and self-awareness, which extends beyond the normal sense of identity and reveals the hidden, unconscious dimensions of the deeper self. Böhme anchors these reflections in his philosophical critique (...) of today’s reified consumerism and postulates the inclusion of this inquiry path in classical epistemological analysis. (shrink)
This article scrutinizes the concepts of the body from Descartes through to Hermann Schmitz. The definition the author himself gives is an existential one in the sense of Kierkegaard: To be a body is the task of performing corporeal existence as a commitment.
Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, born at Kiel in 1912, died five years ago, 2007, in his adopted hometown Starnberg in Bavaria. Many obituaries have been written about his life and work, his role in Germany's nuclear weapon project during the Nazi regime, his attempts toward founding a global ethics, and the radical pacifism that he developed lately. The following reminiscences from a con- versation of the author with the late von Weizsacker refer to his activities in a field that was (...) hardly established when he entered it: the philosophy of physics. Three tightly related issues are at the core of von Weizsacker's thinking in this respect: the logic of tem- poral propositions, the quantum measurement problem, and the role of the subject in physics. (shrink)
Gernot Böhme discusses the nature of moral good in the light of what he calls proto-ethics, considering how to be human “well.” Here the predicate “good” takes on an adverbial and not an adjectival form, and Böhme refers to the Aristotelian distinction between praxis and poiesis to show that today's activistic civilisation with its emphasis on achievement as the effect of activity has deprived humans of their ability to focus on activity itself. Böhme rejects ideologies which profess the “enhancement” of (...) humans by medical/pharmacological means, and instead postulates the recrea-tion of praxis skills by physical and spiritual training, especially in human relations with nature and the own body. Backing this postulate are numerous examples of how to be human “well.”. (shrink)
Die Natur ist als Thema in der Phänomenologie von Husserl bis zu Schmitz wenig bearbeitet worden. Der Grund ist teilweise in der respektvollen oder auch kritischen Distanz vieler Phänomenologen zur Naturwissenschaft zu suchen, teils darin, dass es auf dem Feld der Selbstgegebenheit - Leib, Gefühl, zwischenmenschliche Beziehungen - zunächst die eigentlichen Entdeckungen zu machen galt. Selbst die Leibphilosophie wurde nicht als ein Teil einer Phänomenologie der Natur entwickelt. Doch ist der Leib nicht die Natur, die wir selbst sind? Im vorliegenden (...) Band unternehmen Forscher verschiedener Herkunft die gemeinsame Anstrengung, mit dem Thema Natur der Phänomenologie ein neues Forschungsfeld zu eröffnen. Dabei wird nicht nur an die phänomenologische Bewegung angeknüpft, sondern auch an aristotelische goethische Naturwissenschaft, soweit sie als phänomenologisch betrachtet werden kann. Damit wird die Absicht verfolgt, die Phänomenologie der Natur als eine alternative Erkenntnisweise im Unterschied zur herrschenden naturwissenschaftlich-technischen zu entwickeln. Nach der Entfaltung des Programms wird zunächst die goethische Naturwissenschaft als ein Paradigma von Naturphänomenologie dargestellt. Dann werden die Beiträge aus der phänomenologischen Bewegung (Husserl, Klages, Schmitz) durchmustert. Und schließlich werden Fallbeispiele gegenwärtiger phänomenologischer Erforschung der Natur vorgeführt. Dabei geht es einerseits um Beiträge von seiten goetheanischer Wissenschaft (Botanik und Wärmelehre), andererseits um Beispiele, die im Rahmen der Naturphilosophie entstanden sind (Phänomenologie von Wind und Wetter, Phänomenologie des eigenen Leibes als Natur, Phänomenologie der Stoffe). (shrink)