How is it possible that works of art exist? How do we become receptive aesthetic subjects? The Specificity of the Aesthetic extends these fundamental ontological and phenomenological questions around which Georg Lukács’s theory of art was organised. This late work of aesthetics seeks to solve a puzzle that neither philosophy nor socialist politics was able to: the fundamental ethical question of what individuals and humanity as a whole ought to do. Art offers Lukács the already-existing means through which the damaged edifice of Marxism might be reconstructed on a durable basis on which to rest the philosophy, politics, and ethics of a non-Soviet-style Marxism.
Erik M. Bachman, Ph.D. (2011), University of California at Santa Cruz, is a Lecturer at that university. Author of Literary Obscenities: U.S. Case Law and Naturalism after Modernism (2018), he has also published numerous essays on modernism, film, and Lukács.
Tyrus Miller, Ph.D. (1994), Stanford University, is the Dean of the School of Humanities at the University of California at Irvine. He has published and edited many notable monographs and essays on modernism, critical theory, and the avant-garde.
Editor’s Introduction: Art in Its Eigenart Erik M. Bachman Acknowledgements Note on the Translation
The Specificity of the Aesthetic
1 Issues of Reflection in Everyday Life
2 The Disanthropomorphisation of Reflection in Science
3 Preliminary Issues of the Disentanglement of Art from Everyday Life as a Matter of Principle
4 The Abstract Forms of the Aesthetic Reflection of Reality
5 Issues of Mimesis I: The Coming into Being of Aesthetic Reflection
6 Issues of Mimesis II: The Path to the Worldedness of Art
7 Issues of Mimesis III: The Path of the Subject to Aesthetic Reflection
8 Issues of Mimesis IV: The World Proper to Works of Art
9 Issues of Mimesis V: The Defetishising Mission of Art
10 Issues of Mimesis VI: Universal Features of the Subject-Object Relationship in Aesthetics
Academic libraries and students of aesthetics, art history, critical theory, philosophy, literature, anthropology, and the Soviet Union.