Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Aisthesis in philosophy, psychoanalysis and politics

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.10.00  Humanities  Philosophy   

Code Science Field
H120  Humanities  Systematic philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, epistemology, ideology 

Code Science Field
6.03  Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics and Religion 
aisthesis, Ranciere, art, politics, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, philosophy
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  06589  PhD Aleš Erjavec  Philosophy  Head  2011 - 2014  755 
2.  11486  PhD Marina Gržinić Mauhler  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,699 
3.  13472  PhD Peter Klepec  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  288 
4.  11798  PhD Zdravko Kobe  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2014  215 
5.  02155  PhD Radivoj Riha  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  325 
6.  25580  PhD Jurij Simoniti  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  101 
7.  06397  PhD Jelica Šumič Riha  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  373 
8.  11158  PhD Alenka Zupančič Žerdin  Philosophy  Researcher  2011 - 2014  422 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  97,440 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,542 
The end of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first witness to the antinomies of contemporary thought in its search of an effective response to one of the fundamental problems of our time: the breakdown of our common world of sense experience. One of the most original and theoretically most productive attempts at resolving this antinomy is represented by the reworking of the notion of aisthesis both in contemporary philosophy as well as within the broader realm of contemporary theory. The initial hypothesis of this research proposal is that for an understanding of the different attempts at rehabilitating the notion of aisthesis that we can witness today within and outside the realm of philosophy, what is necessary is a preliminary analysis of the conceptual transformations of Kant’s “revolution in the way of thinking”, for it was this revolution that made it possible to break with the then dominant paradigms of the understanding of the sensible, i.e. rationalism and empiricism. In Kant aisthesis relates, on the one hand, to aesthetics as a critique of taste, namely the judgment of art and the beautiful in general, thereby demonstrating the possibility of the constitution of sensus communis on the terrain of the particular. On the other hand, the notion of aisthesis directs us to the theory of the duality of knowledge as aistheta kai noeta, where it denotes knowledge of the sensible, thus overcoming the cognitivist postulate, namely that the subject is the organisational and unifying principle of experience. The aim of this research project is to show that a thorough rethinking of the two aspects of Kant’s notion of aisthesis and the implications of their mutual interconnection in different realms of thought and acting outside of philosophy are of key import for contemporary understanding and usage of the notion of aisthesis, which became one of the key concepts capable of productively connecting the disparate realms of thought, knowledge, and acting. I. Transcendental aesthetics and its contemporary radicalisations. In this part Kant’s a priori forms of sense experience that made possible a broadening of the understanding of aesthetics as a regime of visibility and intelligibility, i.e. as an always specific distribution of the sensible, will be researched. II. Aisthesis between politics and art. The main hypothesis of the second part is that via the notion of aisthesis artistic practices enter philosophy at the entry point of its political sensibility. In this context, special attention will be devoted to Ranciere’s replacement of the representational regime with the aesthetic one. What is most significant for our proposal is the fact that this replacement, by suspending and neutralising hierarchical dichotomies of the representational system, such as active form and passive matter, representation and the represented, mind and body, opens the space for a radically different distribution of the sensible through the production of new “sensoria”. This will allow us to examine not only the legitimacy and consequences of such replacement of hitherto essential notions such as modernism with the notion of the aesthetic regime of art, but also transformations within the aesthetic regime that involve a theoretical and political historicisation of contemporary art. In the project psychoanalysis is to serve as the point at which the two constituent thematic parts around which this research proposal is organised will be brought together to form a unified research theme.
Significance for science
The central theme of the research project was a reworking of the notion of aisthesis, i.e. of the notion of the sensible in contemporary philosophy and within the broader realm of theory in the second half of the twentieth century. Such a return to aisthesis is a response to the fragmentation of the common world of experience of the sensible, with the negative consequences of such fragmentation manifesting themselves as disorientation, nihilism, relativism, or nostalgia in different realms of human activity: from science, ethics, and art to philosophy. The issues raised in the project proposal are currently at the center of international philosophical discourse on the challenges and tasks that today confront contemporary philosophy both in its relationship to itself and to the other humanities and social sciences. The project was conceived as an attempt at overcoming the insufficiencies of the two dominant responses of contemporary thought to the fragmentation of the common world of the experience of the sensible: of the “modernist” insistence on some key philosophical notions such as, on the one hand, representation, objectivity, and reality, with the help of which philosophy traditionally thought the common world of the experience of the sensible, and with the “postmodernist” criticism of such notions, on the other. One novelty of the project was also the hypothesis that in the theorising of the issues of the sensible it is necessary to start—more than in past discourses—from the two dimensions of the notion of aisthesis in Kant, wherein this notion designates a priori forms of the sensible, on the one hand, and a form of judgment that relates to specific singular objects, on the other. Such starting point should allow the project to connect in a new way two realms wherein today the notion of aisthesis is operational. The first relates to a discourse within philosophy itself on the issues of the sensible that on the basis of subversion of the relationship between percipiens and percipium makes possible an articulation of a series of basic issues in philosophy: the relationship between the sensible and the conceptual, mind and body, subject and object, representation and the represented, matter and form, representation and sense, etc. The second relates to a “transphilosophical” discussion in which the notion of aisthesis functions as a juncture of philosophy, art and politics. Our approach should detect points where philosophy meets with other realms of knowledge and acting and analyse the implications of such meetings in both realms. A specific interpretation of the notion of aisthesis in the proposed research project and a contribution to the contemporary discussion of the common world of the experience of the sensible was made possible by the addition of the psychoanalysis of S. Freud and J. Lacan to the knot of philosophy, politics, and art.
Significance for the country
The proposed project concerned one of the crucial problems of our time, namely the breakdown of our common world of sense experience and represents an attempt to find a response to the negative consequences of such a breakdown that manifest themselves as disorientation, nihilism, relativism, or nostalgia in different realms of human activity—from science, politics, and ethics to philosophy. With the aid of an analysis of the philosophical, political, aesthetic, psychoanalytic, and ethical dimensions of the contemporary fragmentation of the common world of sense experience, the project aimed to respond to the challenges of an increasingly changeable world. It aimed to respond to such challenges also with an elaboration of suitable concepts, theoretical models, and practices that would enable an understanding of the complex problem of global interactions and economic, political, scientific and cultural interdependence. One of the realized aims of the project was also to analyse the philosophical, political, aesthetic, and psychoanalytic aspects of interactions within the current situation, so as to facilitate a better understanding of the challenges and dangers with which democratic societies are confronted today. The project is interdisciplinary and located at the juncture of philosophy, art, politics, and psychoanalysis. Its results are to serve both as a useful basis for the articulation of the social aims, norms, and values that contribute to the strengthened social cohesion of the community and to the development of the natural and cultural environment. The project was also relevant for a reconsideration of the contemporary natural and cultural heritage, its taxonomy, and contemporary possibilities for conceptualising and articulating relations between the national, local, and regional, on the one hand, and the global and universal, on the other: Where in the context of the natural and cultural heritage do politics, art and various realms of knowledge appear, ranging from the philosophical to the psychoanalytic and in this context, in what mutual relation do various realms of knowledge and activity interact?
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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