Critical aesthetic theory : the aesthetic theories of the Frankfurt School
Gaines, Jeremy (1985) Critical aesthetic theory : the aesthetic theories of the Frankfurt School. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1445904~S15
The following study outlines the different aesthetic theories developed
by Theodor. W. Adorno, Leo Löwenthal and Herbert Marcuse between 1931
and 1978, describing the work they undertook while members of the Frankfurt
School (1931-1942) and relating this to their later writings. A
brief explanation is also given of why - in the author's opinion - Walter
Benjamin's work should not be included amongst that of the Frankfurt School.
The thesis adopts a chronological approach based on immanent, textual
analysis of primary source material including unpublished correspondence.
The main point of comparison from which the different aesthetics are evaluated
is the degree to which they accept the main social theory developed
in the School by Max Horkheimer. It is argued that Horkheimer's work was
in turn based on Friedrich Pollock's theory of state capitalism. One of
the main arguments advanced here is that all the aesthetics constructed
before and after 1942 were indeed influenced to a greater or lesser extent
by Pollock's theory, an argument which challenges the dominant interpretations
of Frankfurt School aesthetic theories which regard them as not
being grounded in a theory of the base. The thesis shows that adopting
Pollock's social theory created problems for the aesthetic theories and
led to the emergence of two different aesthetics: Adorno's aesthetics of
mimetic experience and Marcuse's political aesthetics. Löwenthal's essays
are judged to form a literary sociology and not an aesthetics as such..
The dissertation concludes with the attempt to recuperate Adorno's concept
of mimesis as the basis for a Marxist aesthetics.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Aesthetics, Adorno, Theodor W., 1903-1969 -- Criticism and interpretation, Lowenthal, Leo -- Criticism and interpretation, Marcuse, Herbert, 1898-1979 -- Criticism and interpretation, Frankfurt school of sociology|
|Official Date:||February 1985|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of German Studies|
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