Aesthetics and politics
Between Adorno and Heidegger
in The new aestheticism

Aesthetic theory for T. W. Adorno marks out a domain of experience relatively immune from the impact of the banalisation of evil, indicated by Hannah Arendt to be distinctive of the latter part of the twentieth century. The differences between Adorno and Martin Heidegger, then, concerning politics and language, aesthetic analysis and its philosophical significance are clear cut. Lacoue-Labarthe argues in Heidegger, Art and Politics: The Fiction of the Political that Heidegger's political affirmation fictionalises politics, under the aegis of Hoelderlin. Walter Benjamin's version of antinomy which is to be evoked, for both Adorno and Heidegger work in philosophy for its own sake but also with an eye to a political transformation. Heidegger's notions of authenticity and historicality provide a challenge to the apparently dehistoricised notions of politics and aesthetics, which are in fact burdened with an unthought-through reception of the Greek notions of order and community.

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