Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Nominalismus und Realismus in der Ästhetik des Designs

Oktober 2018, 22. Jahrgang, Heft 88, pp 29-38

Nominalism and Realism in the Aesthetics of Design
The starting point is a traditional debate which Bazon Brock summarized as follows: is there »an inherent property of being ›beautiful‹ in objects?« Or are »beauty and its attractive representation« nothing but »a social construct that is based on human nature, but largely reshapes these conditions culturally«? Against this background, the article addresses issues in recent design aesthetics with nominalist and realist arguments from analytical aesthetics. Looking back at Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Adorno, the author reconstructs a dialectic of the liberation of the individual aesthetic form. The article also hints at why one could follow on from aspects of Critical Theory, not least Benjamin’s anti-nominalist understanding of language and his concept of liberating objects from »the necessity to be useful«. The aesthetics of design, it argues, should go beyond the boundaries of analytical aesthetics.

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