Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heidegger on Art

Hubert Dreyfus

Heidegger is not interested in works of art as expressions of the vision of a creator, nor is he interested in them as the source of aesthetic experiences in a viewer. He holds that “Modern subjectivism … immediately misinterprets creation, taking it as the self-sovereign subject’s performance of genius” and he also insists that “aesthetic experience is the element in which art dies.” Rather, for Heidegger, an artwork is a thing that, when it works, performs at least one of three ontological functions. It either manifests, articulates or reconfigures the style of a culture from within the world of that culture. It follows that, for Heidegger, most of what hangs in museums, what is admired as great works of architecture, and what is published by poets, were never works of art, a few were once artworks but are no longer working, and none are working now. To understand this counter-intuitive account of art, we have to begin by reviewing what Heidegger means by world and being. . .

download paper here.

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