The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought

The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought

Language: English

Pages: 328

ISBN: 1441148345

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The growing exploration of political life from an aesthetic perspective has become so prominent that we must now speak of an "aesthetic turn ? in political thought. But what does it mean and what makes it an aesthetic turn? Why now? This diverse and path-breaking collection of essays answers these questions, provoking new ways to think about the possibilities and debilities of democratic politics.

Beginning from the premise that politics is already "aesthetic in principle, ? the contributions to The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought from some of the world's leading political theorists and philosophers, disclose a distinct set of political problems: the aesthetic problems of modern politics. The aesthetic turn in political thought not only recognizes that these problems are different in kind from the standard problems of politics, it also recognizes that they call for a different kind of theorizing – a theorizing that is itself aesthetic.

A major contribution to contemporary theoretical debates, The Aesthetic Turn in Political Thought will be essential reading to anyone interested in the interdisciplinary crossroads of aesthetic and politics.

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want for ourselves. The lives we would be living would be unfree, since the intersubjective conditions necessary for full human freedom, what Honneth calls “self-realization,” have not been met. Fraser, on the other hand, eschews the thick account of recognition favored by Honneth, proposing instead a far more minimalist (and less grandiose) one. On her account, the good of recognition is not to be understood as instrumental to the hypergood of individual self-realization, but, rather, as

something as something,” the subject of the early Heidegger’s phenomenological and the later Wittgenstein’s conceptual investigations. But just what that something is to appear as, its very intelligibility as something, can be an urgent or perplexing question for us. In line with the contributions by Kompridis and Orlie, Panagia suggests that a provisional but not final I have offered a similar critique of Rancière’s lack of a notion of receptivity or responsiveness in his account of politics.

doctrines, but the contagious sensibility of beginning anew that the spectacle of Revolution engendered. “All love to our country, all pious veneration and attachment to its laws and customs, are obliterated from our minds; and nothing can result from this opinion… but a series of conspiracies and seditions, sometimes ruinous to their authors, always noxious to the state” (A 184). This pleasure in beginning anew appears throughout many of Burke’s anti-revolutionary writings. It is found, for

F. (1967), “Racism and Culture,” in Fanon, J. ed., Toward the African Revolution, Haakon Chevalier, H. trans. New York: Grove Press. 14 See Fanon, F. (1963), The Wretched of the Earth, Farrington, C. trans. New York: Grove Press. 15 “Black Orpheus” trans. John MacCombie, in Steven Ungar (ed.),“What Is Literature?” and Other Essays (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), pp. 289–330. 12 Fanon’s decolonial aesthetic 101 Fanon’s aim is, as he consistently made it known,

plague the deeply diverse, late-capitalist societies in which we live. If we wish to bring literary theory into dialogue with political theory around questions of recognition, as Rita Felski has proposed, perhaps the case of Elizabeth Costello is a particularly good, because particularly difficult, place to start. Not least, because the failure of recognition at issue here is the failure to recognize—in some full-blooded sense of the word—the life and death concerns of a fictional person.2 What

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