Title
Bridging the abyss : Victor Basch's political and aesthetic mindset Bridging the abyss : Victor Basch's political and aesthetic mindset
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. History
Publication type
article
Publication
Cambridge :Cambridge University press ,
Subject
Philosophy
Politics
Art
History
Source (journal)
Modern intellectual history. - Cambridge
Volume/pages
10(2013) :1 , p. 87-107
ISSN
1479-2443
ISI
000318307800004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This essay cross-examines both the correlation and the disjunction between art philosophy and political reason in the thinking of the French Jewish art philosopher, Kant specialist and socialist politician Victor Basch (1863-1944). Two interwoven lines of questioning will be in play. One considers the extent to which Basch's theory of beauty, which was primarily grounded in a psychological theory of Einfuhlung, was a corollary to his political ideas and practices. The other line of inquiry raises questions about how Basch's political position, namely his anti-facist defending of republican values, became influenced by his work on aesthetics. By answering both questions, this article challenges the traditional historiography of interwar aesthetics. The esaay shows how conceptual debates of aesthetics were not just sterile theoretical products, but to a large extent offered an apparatus to diagnose and orientate a rapidly changing world. Therefore this essay develops a reflection about the gaze needed to take in the complex historical situations from which aesthetic reflections grew, and which in turn they addressed.
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