The mute foundation of aesthetic experience?

La Caze, Marguerite (2013) The mute foundation of aesthetic experience?. Culture, Theory and Critique, 54 2: 209-224. doi:10.1080/14735784.2013.782678

Author La Caze, Marguerite
Title The mute foundation of aesthetic experience?
Journal name Culture, Theory and Critique   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1473-5784
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14735784.2013.782678
Volume 54
Issue 2
Start page 209
End page 224
Total pages 16
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Subject 3312 Sociology and Political Science
3316 Cultural Studies
Abstract Luiz Costa Lima argues in The Limits of Voice that Kant's Critique of Judgment plays a pivotal role in furthering aestheticization, or the objectification and universalization of aesthetic experience. He introduces the term 'criticity' to refer to the act of questioning and finds that Kant poses the alternatives of aestheticization and criticity. However, Costa Lima sees Kant and most of the following literary criticism as accepting aestheticization, with exceptions such as Schlegel and Kafka (Costa Lima 1996: xii). He states 'The effective actualization of an aesthetic experience is then defined by the fact that it constitutes a mute universality, one that necessarily cannot be communicated' (1996: 100). Yet Kant's view is that aesthetic experience is communicable. I suggest the tension between the two can be resolved through the distinction between actual and potential communication, and argue that what is foremost for Kant is the potential to communicate aesthetic experience, not its privacy. Thus I demonstrate how Kant can be seen as a proponent of criticity and can account for our capacity to share experiences and judgments of taste. Furthermore, I contend that Hannah Arendt's work on ethical and political judgment, particularly in Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy (1982), can be seen as an another example of criticity in the moral and political spheres, and show how she extends both Kant's aesthetic work and Costa Lima's ideas. Arendt, like Kant, shows how aesthetic experience is potentially communicable. Finally, I explain how Arendt turns Kant's aesthetic judgement to criticity in ethical and political judgment through developing an intersubjective account of judgment. In that sense, aesthetic experience is able to find a way out of muteness and Costa Lima's concept of criticity can find a place in other fields.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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