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Embodied meaning and art as sense-making: a critique of Beiser's interpretation of the “End of Art Thesis”

Giladi, P (2016) Embodied meaning and art as sense-making: a critique of Beiser's interpretation of the “End of Art Thesis”. Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, 8 (1). ISSN 2000-4214

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Abstract

© 2016 P. Giladi. The aim of this paper is to challenge Fred Beiser's interpretation of Hegel's meta-Aesthetical position on the future of art. According to Beiser, Hegel's comments about the "pastness" of art commit Hegel to viewing postromantic art as merely a form of individual self-expression. I both defend and extend to another territory, Robert Pippin's interpretation of Hegel as a proto-modernist, where such modernism involves (1) his rejection of both classicism and Kantian aesthetics and (2) his espousal of what one may call reflective aesthetics. By "reflective aesthetics," I mean an aesthetic framework which sees art as a form of enquiry, one whose aim is to not merely excite the imagination but to principally focus attention on social and cultural norms. The meta-Aesthetical consequences of reflective aesthetics and their Hegelian heritage have both an interpretive and philosophic value: According to me, Beiser's reading of Hegel is challenged, and my interpretation of how Hegel envisaged the future of art offers a new and engaging way of understanding one of the most notorious claims in the philosophy of art, namely that art has ended.

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