Ethical perspectives in Aesthetics

Author/s Fulvio Carmagnola
Publishing Year 2011 Issue 2011/16 Language Italian
Pages 11 P. 94-104 File size 663 KB
DOI 10.3280/EDS2011-016007
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Is "Beauty" nowadays, in our contemporary world, still a value in itself? This is the question I put in the following essay. Aesthetization of the life-world - the growing amount of Beauty in economical goods - is the problematic situation I take into account: how an ethical view is possible, if Beauty has nowadays not only a symbolic value - according to kantian sentence in his well-known § 59 of the Kritik der Urtheilskraft ("I put Beauty as a Symbol of moral Good") - but rather an increasingly meaningful economical sense?In my opinion, what french thinker Jean-Francois Lyotard called "post-modern condition" (La condition postmoderne, 1979) involves a new condition of Beauty, named Aesthetization, in which "design", as a view concerning shape and attractive characters of consumer goods, or "the skin of culture" (D. de Kerkhove), takes priority over Art and the high-standard artifacts as current main aspect of Beauty. Consequently, we must regard economical processes of evaluation and institutional basis of the systems involved (Art-system, Fashion-system, Design-system and so on) as the true sphere in which the problem of Beauty and taste actually can take place. This situation involves a meaningful historical variation about the ethical question of taste, concerning Aesthetics as modern philosophical discipline: how build a new kind of "reflective judgement" (in kantian words: Urtheiskraft) and escape from the present "institutional asthetical imperative" in the form of a paradoxical constraint: "Enjoy!". To play (with? Against?) this asthetical imperative, that’s the way I suggest for a contemporary ethical perspective.

Keywords: Symbol, moral good, sensitiveness, value, evaluation process, symbolic goods, play, enjoyment, constraint

Fulvio Carmagnola, Prospettive etiche nell’estetica in "EDUCAZIONE SENTIMENTALE" 16/2011, pp 94-104, DOI: 10.3280/EDS2011-016007