Aesthetics and Subjectivity : From Kant to Nietzsche

Aesthetics and Subjectivity : From Kant to Nietzsche

Andrew Bowie

Language: English

Pages: 346

ISBN: 0719057388

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

New, completely revised and re-written edition. Offers a detailed, but asccesible account of the vital German philosophical tradition of thinking about art and the self. Looks at recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities, following the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Ficthe and Holderlin, the early Romantis, Schelling, Hegel, Scleimacher, to Nietzsche. Develops the approaches to subjectivity, aesthetics, music and language in relation to new theoretical developments bridging the divide between the continental and analytical traditions of philosophy. The huge growth of interest in German philosophy as a resource for re-thinking both literary and cultural theory, and contemporary philosophy will make this an indispensible read

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external objects], but rather to echo the way in which the inner self is moved in itself according to its subjectivity and inner soul [i.e. represent feelings]’ (II p. 261). Music does not engage with objectivity in the manner that conceptual thought does, and so has no essential effect on social reality, but it is a more developed form of Geist than visual art. Further implications of this position will be discussed in Chapter 7. Hegel argues, then, that the modern period has moved beyond art:

unclear what brings about the act of reflexive splitting, the action of the I making itself into an object in order to analyse itself. Quite simply: why does it bother, rather than simply being whatever it is without reflecting? What is clear here is that something that makes itself into an object cannot initially be just an object, and it must therefore have a prior subjective status of some kind. The question is: what kind? Reflections on the subject 73 Freud thinks knowledge of the psyche has

which links both worlds and from which they can be surveyed in one gaze. (1971 I p. 468) Fichte insists on the primacy of action in order to get over the vital metaphysical problem of how a causally determined objective world can give rise to that which is subjective, is not causally determined, and is able to apprehend causal relations as causal in contrast to its own potential for self-determination. The ‘infinite’ in this passage refers to an action which cannot be defined as knowledge would

also cannot provide an articulated ‘proof ’ of such unity, but the point of the 118 Aesthetics and subjectivity argument is precisely to suggest the importance of what art can show that cannot be said by philosophy. The reasons for the significance of music in Romantic thought already begin to become apparent here, though Schelling does not make anything of this in the STI. Nature as blind purposiveness, the plant growing into its particular form, constitutes, in the terms of the STI, one form

More recently it has been precisely this aim of completeness that makes Hegel the target of philosophers whose aim is to deconstruct such pretension, as part of the wider attempt to overcome ‘Western metaphysics’. In the preceding chapters I have tried to show that there always has been something of a ‘deconstructive’ tendency in modern philosophy, though it is generally one which seeks to elaborate new conceptions of subjectivity, not completely to obviate the role of the subject. In the present

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