THE END OF ART AND PATOČKA’S PHILOSOPHY OF ARTJournal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.5, No. 1)
Publication Date: 2016-06-25
Authors : Jan Josl;
Page : 232-246
Keywords : Phenomenology; aesthetics; Jan Patočka; truth; Hegel; Danto; history of art.;
In this essay I consider the end-of-art thesis in its metaphysical and empirical versions. I show that both use the correspondence theory of truth as the basis for their conception of the history of art. As a counterpart to these theories I have chosen Patočka's conception of the history of art. His theory is based also on the relationship between art and truth, but he conceives truth in the phenomenological sense of manifestation. In the rest of the essay I seek to show the consequences Patočka's conception has for the history of art. In the first part, I set out to show Patocka's critique of Hegel's aesthetics as a system based on the correspondence theory of truth. In particular, I endeavour to explain his critique of some intrinsic problems of Hegel's aesthetics, the general failure of Hegel's system to achieve its goal, and, lastly, Hegel's giving up on the meaning of the art in the present. I also seek to show that Danto's version runs into the same problems and conclusions as Hegel's. In the second part I discuss Patočka's analysis of modern art and the aesthetic attitude, where he finds a hidden affinity between art and aletheia, which Hegel overlooked. The last part of the essay focuses on the consequences that the conception of the truth of art as aletheia have for the history of art. I conclude that art in such a conception represents an independent field of the manifestation of being in history beside philosophy. Moreover, modern and contemporary art do not mean the end of art; rather, they have their place in art history based on aletheia, since they are more focused on the manifestation itself than on what is manifested. Unlike Hegel and Danto, therefore, Patočka retains the historical meaning of modern and contemporary art. His conception of the history of art, summed up under the idea of aletheia, has greater explanatory potential than Hegel's and Danto's conceptions, and it retains the historical meaning of modern and contemporary art.
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