The Fate of Art

The Fate of Art : Aesthetic Alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno

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This book focuses on the work of four key thinkers - Kant, Heidegger, Derrida and Adorno - and provides a new interpretation of their writings on art, aesthetics and politics. Bernstein argues that our experience of art today is conditioned by the loss of the truth-function of art: with the growth of modern science and technological reasons, art is relegated to a separate and autonomous domain of the aesthetic. This condition of "aesthetic alienation" - the raging discord between art and truth - is one of the most perspicuous signs of the fragmentation of modernity. Aesthetic alienation is challenged in differing ways by modern Continental philosophers like Heidegger, Derrida and Adorno. Bernstein shows how each of these philosophers uses the experience of art and the discourse of aesthetics to criticize the fragmentation of modernity. He examines in detail their responses to aesthetic alientation and raises a range of fundamental questions concerning the relations between art, philosophy and politics in modern societies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 229mm
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745604064
  • 9780745604060

Table of contents

Part 1 Memorial aesthetics - Kant's "Critique of Judgement": judgement without knowledge; imperative beauty?; the antinomy of autonomous aesthetics; the question of reflective judgement; beauty and the labour of mourning; indeterminacy and metaphysics. Part 2 The genius of being - Heidegger's" The Origin of the Work of Art": overcoming aesthetics; great art and genius - on being exemplary; genius, community and praxis; art and technology; earth, world and alterity - the polis as art; aesthetic alienation. Part 3 The deconstructive sublime - Derrida's "The Truth in Painting": art, history and language; painting without truth; there is painting; interrupting metaphysics; framing without end of pure beauty; framing the sublime; sublimity or tragic politics? Part 4 Constellations of concept and intuition - Adorno's "Aesthetic Theory": reinscribing aesthetics - modernism, autonomy and synthesis; synthesis, illusion and non-identity; without purpose; art, technology and nature. Part 5 Old gods ascending - disintegration and speculation in "Aesthetic Theory": rationalization, differentiation and categories; disintegration, sacrifice and truth; truth or communication?; truth and speculation; speculation, art and politics. Aesthetic alienation from Kant to Derrida and Adorno
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17 ratings
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