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Materiality and desire: a brief anthropology of the picture

Abstract : In his On the Genealogy of Morality, Friedrich Nietzsche has some fun waxing ironic about Immanuel Kant and his aesthetics. “[I]n that famous definition Kant gives of the beautiful,” Kant said: “Something is beautiful if it gives pleasure without interest.” Without interest! Compare this definition with another made by a genuine “spectator” and artist—Stendhal, who once called the beautiful une promesse de bonheur. Here, at any rate, the thing that Kant alone accentuates in aesthetic matters: le désintéressement, is rejected and eliminated. Who is right, Kant or Stendhal? — However, as our aestheticians never tire of weighing in on Kant’s side, saying that under the charm of beauty, even naked female statues can be looked at “without interest,” I think we are entitled to laugh a little at their expense. [First paragraph]
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 11:51:06 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 3:48:00 AM

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Charlotte Guichard. Materiality and desire: a brief anthropology of the picture. Arts & Sociétés, 2016, pp.en ligne. ⟨hal-03459246⟩

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