CultureLab • Permanent Seminar

Hans Blumenberg and the Plurivocity of the Aesthetic Object: Paul Valéry

Andrea Borsari (University of Bologna)

As Anselm Haverkamp remarked, Blumenberg’s production on aesthetics and metaphorology is concentrated in the two decades 1950 and 1960, though with later developments evident in the monograph on myth, as well as in many posthumous publications, and by virtue of the interest in aesthetics and more broadly in philosophical reflection on forms of artistic expression and literature in particular that runs through and cross-directs much of his work. His specific contribution to aesthetics revolves around the problem of the plurivocity of the aesthetic object. The essays on Paul Valéry (1964-1966) discuss how the aesthetic object should no longer force the viewer’s (reader’s, listener’s, etc.) choice of interpretive standpoint, but should rather leave it open, condensing it into a new degree of reality: in addition to the perspective of an aesthetic plurality of historical order, it remains to conceive of a simultaneous plurality of the relationship with the aesthetic object.

After introducing the figure and main features of the thought of German philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920-1996), the presentation will discuss his contribution to contemporary aesthetic reflection.

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Andrea Borsari is full professor of Aesthetics at the University of Bologna, editor in chief of the book series on Aesthetics “La vita e le forme” (BUP) and co-editor of the philosophical journal Iride. Rivista di filosofia e discussione pubblica. Visiting professor in several Universities, recently: Ucla, Brown University, Paris 1 Sorbonne, UERJ and UFRJ – Rio de Janeiro, TU Berlin. His publications include: Mondo, cose, immagini. Sulle forme dell’esperienza estetica (2018), Mimicry. Estetica del divenire animale (2018) and, as editor alone or with others, Georg Simmel et le champ architectural. Sociabilité urbaine, paysage et esthétisation du monde (2020), Philosophical Anthropology and Critical Theory (2022), Aesthetics of the Anthropocene (CPCL, 1–2/2022), Temporary: Citizenship, Architecture and City (2023), Continuità e discontinuità nelle forme della cultura (2024).

Event supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia) of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science under the projects UIDB/00183/2020 and UIDP/00183/2020.