Title

Plasticity and aesthetic identity; or, why we need a Spinozist aesthetics

DOI

10.7146/nja.v22i40-41.5199

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Publication Title

Nordic Journal of Aesthetics

Volume

22

Issue

40-41

First Page

53

Last Page

74

ISSN

20001452

Keywords

Body, Embodiment, Levinas, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology, Plasticity, Space, Spinoza

Abstract

This essay defends the view that, as embodied, our identities are necessarily dependent on the aesthetic environment. Toward this end, it examines the renewal of the concept of sensation (aisthesis) in phenomenology, but then concludes that the methodology and metaphysics of phenomenology must be abandoned in favor of an ontology that sees corporeal identity as generated by the materiality of aesthetic relations. It is suggested that such an ontology is available in the work of Spinoza, which helps break down the natural/artificial and human/nonhuman distinctions, and can thereby engender an environmental ethics grounded in aesthetic relations. An explication of body/world dependence is provided via the concept of plasticity and a properly Spinozist aesthetics is invoked, but remains to be worked out.

Open Access

Hybrid_Gold

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