‘The Philosophy and Politics of Aesthetic Experience: German Romanticism and Critical Theory’ by Nathan Ross


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This book develops a philosophy of aesthetic experience through two socially significant philosophical movements: early German Romanticism and early critical theory.

In examining the relationship between these two closely intertwined movements, we see that aesthetic experience is not merely a passive response to art—it is the capacity to cultivate true personal autonomy, and to critique the social and political context of our lives. Art is political for these thinkers, not only when it paints a picture of society, but even more when it makes us aware of our deeply ingrained forms of experience in a transformative way. Ultimately, the book argues that we have to think of art as a form of truth that is not reducible to communicative rationality or scientific knowledge, and from which philosophy and politics can learn valuable lessons.

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