Volume 80, Issue 2, April-June 2017
Aesthetics, Simply Speaking
Danièle Cohn, Aesthetics, Simply Speaking
Jacques-Olivier Bégot, The Antinomy of autonomy. Benjamin, Adorno, and What is at Stake in a Critical Aesthetics
Based on a detailed reconstruction of the debate about the artwork carried out between Adorno and Benjamin in the mid-1930s, this article shows that no matter how deep their disagreement may have been (especially concerning the aura or mechanical reproduction), both theorists share common presuppositions and come to similar conclusions on certain issues. In particular, Benjamin and Adorno both end up being committed to a conception of form that is at odds with formalism as well as “vulgar” materialism: according to them, form is not only the site of artistic invention properly speaking, but also the locus where society makes itself manifest in the artworks.
Mildred Galland-Szymkowiak, Aesthetics of Technical Arts. Einfühlung and Symbolism in Theodor Lipps
How can we think the way a building symbolizes, without reducing it to a meaning not immediately tied to our experience of this object? Is it possible to reflect on the technical aspect of a design product as a part of the aesthetic experience of this product? In this paper I aim to study how Theodor Lipps (1851-1914) reelaborates this problem in his psychological aesthetics of technical arts, using the notion of Einfühlung (empathy). He determines the content of this notion more precisely according to the echoing feeling that binds the three dimensions of technical objects (matter, form, and use) to the subject.
Pauline Nadrigny, Music/Painting. A Mere Analogy. The Case of Morton Feldman
The analogy between painting and music can be seductive. It is based on multiple examples in the history of twentieth-century arts. However, this viewpoint can erase artistic specificities, while only focusing on their mere likeness. This paper explores the impact of painting on composer Morton Feldman’s career, especially through his famous relationship with the works of Mark Rothko. The aim of this paper is to understand on what terms a correspondence between arts is meaningful, and its challenge for the evolution of musical composition.
Giuseppe Di Liberti, The Aesthetic Fact
The “aesthetic fact” is a notion often used in humanities debates these last years, despite the difficulties in defining it. These difficulties are due to, on the one hand, the complex nature of the so-called “facts” from an ontological point of view and, on the other hand, the heterogeneity of the domain of Aesthetics. A definition of “aesthetic fact” could nevertheless promote interdisciplinary exchanges, contribute to an ontology of facts, and clarify the cognitive value of the aesthetic experience. As an overall hypothesis, this paper claims that aesthetic facts are characterized by the persistence, in the aesthetic experience, of non-propositional contents of perception which activate our emotions and our cultural contents.
Danièle Cohn, Violence and Pity. The Power We Give to Images
The “iconic turn” grants images a power that goes against the grain of their artefactuality. Singular artworks are not “images”, even though we most often see them today “as images”. Aesthetics is fitting insofar as it has a capacity to look at artworks – here a contemporary painting – and to seek to grasp what kind of sense knowledge it makes visible. This sense knowledge undergirds a form of sensus communis, rejects compassion as a value and restores pity to its function within an aesthetic education.
Félix Duque, Terror and Beauty after Hegel
The Hegelian aesthetics could at first appear as a work of reason hindering access to the indomitable background of the sensible reality, what may properly be defined as “terrible”. However, if we look at it, we think it is possible to take the opposite view of this interpretation by asking the following question: is such an undertaking of reason, in the Hegelian aesthetics, only feasible?
Jamila M.H. Mascat, Between Negativity and Vanity. Hegel’s Critique of Romantic Irony
Although Hegel, in the Phenomenology of Spirit, celebrated the “tremendous power of the negative” and the constitutive function performed by negativity as the fundamental motion of being, thinking, and acting, he nonetheless developed a harsh critique of Romantic irony’s negative Stimmung. This article focuses Hegel’s characterization of irony as vanity through his Aesthetics and his “Review of Solger’s Posthumous Writings and Correspondence” (1828) and argues that Hegel’s critical understanding of vanity, in fact, conveys a significant political stance regarding the very concept of negation, one that warns against the apolitical retreat into both narcissism and nihilism.
Jean-Louis Vieillard-Baron, Hegel’s Transition from Polytheism to Monotheism
For Hegel, the transition from polytheism to Christianity is not a war between gods but a genuinely dialectical movement. Indeed, polytheism is neither a whimsical fantasy nor an arbitrary aesthetic. On the contrary, it is produced by the monotheism which is present within.