Robert R. Clewis on Serena Feloj’s “Estetica del disgusto”

 

SERENA FELOJ | Estetica del disgusto. Mendelssohn, Kant e i limiti della rappresentazione | Carocci 2017


 

By Robert R. Clewis

Contemporary aesthetics continues to show great interest in negative aesthetic experiences, especially ugliness and disgust, with numerous books and articles recently appearing on both topics. While The Aesthetics of Disgust: Mendelssohn, Kant, and the Limits of Representation is best characterised as a study of the history of (eighteenth-century) philosophy, it is also informed by the contemporary debates in aesthetics and empirical psychology.

It is a stimulating study of how disgust (Ekel) has been developed in the work of Mendelssohn, Kant, and contemporary researchers. Feloj, who recently translated Winfried Menninghaus’s impressive study Ekel (1999), not only investigates the writings of Mendelssohn and Kant, but also examines recent work on disgust by psychologists (Paul Rozin, Jonathan Haidt, Clark McCauley) and phenomenologists (Aurel Kolnai) as well as Martha Nussbaum and Jacques Derrida. The book is divided into equal parts on Mendelssohn (pp. 21–81) and Kant (pp. 83–144), followed by a shorter, third part on contemporary philosophy and empirical research (pp. 145–67). Read more

Reply to Alberto Siani

 

SERENA FELOJ | Estetica del disgusto. Mendelssohn, Kant e i limiti della rappresentazione | Carocci 2017


 

By Serena Feloj

First of all, I wish to thank Alberto Siani for his generous discussion of my book and his stimulating remarks. His commentary gives me the chance to spell out some theoretical elements accounting for the background of my book on disgust.    

My theoretical take on disgust emerges, in accordance with my methodological premises, from a historical reconstruction of the debate revolving around the topic of disgust and of the ensuing philosophical tools devoted to its understanding. I am especially interested in the idea, familiar to Kantian scholars, that the main task of philosophy is to challenge common sense by means of unusual sounding questions. This can be conspicuously applied to disgust. Usually understood as a very common reaction, which is typical of our everyday life, the family of words revolving around disgust is often abused by language, especially when expressed in English. It is then quite easy to fall into a simplistic reading of disgust in the field of aesthetics. Generally taken as an outright negative category, artists, critics and also philosophers apply it more and more often to the interpretation of works in contemporary art. Clear examples are provided in this respect by the Viennese Actionism’s very controversial performances, but many other cases could be mentioned here.

Read more

Reply to Paul Kottman

 

ALBERTO SIANI | Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto: Attualità di Hegel | ETS 2017


 

By Alberto L. Siani

First of all, I would like to thank Paul Kottman for his insightful discussion of my volume, even more so as I plan to keep working on these topics and related ones. Kottman does a great job of situating the volume in the context of “North-American inspired ‘post-metaphysical Hegel studies’”. I am especially thankful for this, since, as Kottman himself remarks, I have not dedicated much space to this task. I should also remark that, from a philosophical point of view, my interpretative reference framework was mostly the so-called Münster School in a broad sense, beginning with Joachim Ritter and Odo Marquard, up to Ludwig Siep and Michael Quante. To this I need to add the work by Annemarie Gethmann-Siefert, which, while offering more diversified and reliable sources on Hegel’s aesthetics, has also challenged received ideas about the latter, most notably insofar as the thesis of the end of art is concerned. 

Read more

Paul Kottman on Alberto Siani’s “Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto”

 

ALBERTO SIANI | Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto: Attualità di Hegel | ETS 2017


 

By Paul A. Kottman

Alberto Siani’s Morte dell’arte, libertà del soggetto comprises seven interesting, diverse essays around themes in Hegel studies that have gained particular prominence over the past thirty years or so—stemming largely from North American discussions around the problem of ‘modernity’, crystallised in Robert Pippin’s classic books Hegel’s Idealism (1989) and Modernism as Philosophical Problem (1991) and anticipated in works like Stanley Rosen’s Hermeneutics as Politics (Rosen 1987). Rosen’s book was probably the first to show how ‘post-modernity’, which regarded itself as an attack on the Enlightenment, only made sense within a treatment of Enlightenment thinking; and Pippin extended this critique of post-modernity with his influential readings of various defences of ‘modernity’ (Blumenberg, Arendt, Löwith, Rorty) as a kind of agon with Hegel, above all.

Read more