Aesthetic Democracy

Overview

Aesthetic Democracy argues that art and the aesthetic in general are the founding condition of the possibility of establishing social and political democracy. The book examines contemporary criticism and finds that it is historically shaped by colonialism, and that it sets up an opposition of east and west that shapes all contemporary cultural politics. The author argues for a way of outwitting this potentially dangerous struggle of east and west grounded in an aestheticism and a validation of sensory experience....

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Overview

Aesthetic Democracy argues that art and the aesthetic in general are the founding condition of the possibility of establishing social and political democracy. The book examines contemporary criticism and finds that it is historically shaped by colonialism, and that it sets up an opposition of east and west that shapes all contemporary cultural politics. The author argues for a way of outwitting this potentially dangerous struggle of east and west grounded in an aestheticism and a validation of sensory experience. Docherty proposes a new model of cultural critique, based on a revitalized and positively valorized notion of "hypocrisy," whose roots lie in Machiavelli, but whose contemporary strength lies in its potential for an ethical encounter with alterity as such.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Docherty has previously published a number of distinguished books, but this one might be seen as the culmination of his years of thought and work on the humanities and their social roles. . . . The scope of Docherty's knowledge
is truly amazing. . . . [He] writes with a quite unusual combination of passionate commitment and temperate clarity about difficult matters." —J. Hillis Miller,University of California, Irvine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804751889
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/13/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Docherty is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick.

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Table of Contents

1 On prejudice and foretelling 3
2 On urgency and emergency, or deconstruction not reading politics 19
3 ...Declining the West ... 42
4 Aesthetic education and the demise of experience 61
5 The passion of the possible 78
6 Potential European democracy 89
7 The ethics of hypocrisy 111
8 Machiavelli and modernity 129
9 Aesthetic democracy 149
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