How is art both distinct and different from the rest of human life, while also mattering in and for it? This central yet overlooked question in contemporary philosophy of art is at the heart of Georg Bertram’s new aesthetic. Drawing on the resources of diverse philosophical traditions – analytic philosophy, French philosophy, and German post-Kantian philosophy – his book offers a systematic account of art as a human practice. One that remains connected to the whole of life.
In his groundbreaking new book, Georg Bertram argues that human beings turn to artistic meaning-making precisely when they are foundering in practice or confused about how to find coherence and value in their practical lives–a recurring phenomenon within the disruptions of modernity. Audiences of artworks in turn participate imaginatively in the work’s sensuous-formal exploration of new possibilities of sense. In this way, Bertram shows how art is neither a matter of entertainment alone nor theoretical insight alone, but instead urgently and intimately part of the ongoing, reciprocal self-constitution of subjects as bearers of stances within and on practices. There is no better account than this of how and why art matters.
About the Author
Georg W. Bertram is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
Nathan Ross is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oklahoma State University, USA.