Hegel's reading of Hafez as part of his Berlin aesthetics lectures. The jargon of the prosaic world -/- This essay deals with Hegel's reading (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, 1770 - 1831) of Hafez' poetry (Moḥammad Schams ad-Din Hafez Schirazi, around 1315 - 1390) during his lectures on the Aesthetics or Philosophy of Art at the University of Berlin (1820/21; 1823; 1826; 1828/29). Hegel's writings, Lectures on Aesthetics, were published from his remains by Heinrich Gustav Hotho (1802 - 1873) in three (...) volumes (1835 - 1838) and in a second edition from 1842 onwards. The posthumously published writings of Hegel are, considering the preserved archive material and the unreliable editing work by Hotho, a thoroughly complex research topic. Therefore, this problem area also forms the starting point of the present analysis of Hegel's reading of Hafez. -/- Within the framework of this essay, Hegel's categories of historical frameworks (Symbolic, Classical, and Romantic Art), especially that of the "Symbolic Art", are examined in his lectures on Aesthetics . This will do in three steps: starting with the current state of research, problematizing of Hegelian concepts in his Lectures on Aesthetics like "oriental Pantheism" or Vorkunst, ("the threshold of art" or "praeambula": T. M. Knox' translation, 1975, part I); extending the discussion by focusing on similarities and differences between Hegel's reading of Goethe (part II) and Hegel's reading of Hafez (part III) in his Berlin Aesthetics Lectures of the 1820's. For this purpose, material from Goethe's literary remains (II), as well as a masterpiece of Dutch painters van Eyck analyzed by Hegel (Ghent Altarpiece) during his lectures (III), will be included in the analysis and explored from an interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective. In doing so, Goethe's “Space of Experience and Horizon of Expectation” (Koselleck) in imitating Arabic script and calligraphy (II) is linked to Hegel's reading of Hafez during his Berlin lectures on aesthetics (III). Thus, a dialogue of cultures unfolds between poetry and philosophy. The main questions are: How does the German philosopher Hegel interpret and receive Hafiz's poetry in the context of German idealist philosophy as a topic of his lectures on aesthetics? What epistemological aspects can be gained from Hegel's reading of Hafez for a cultural studies analysis, especially regarding the history of the ideas? In addition to analyzing the historical aspects, the aim is also to uncover new perspectives in order to look with Hafez and Rumi at Hegel's problem child of ‘history’. Of particular interest are epistemological aspects and problems of reception and translation studies in sense of interdisciplinary and intercultural research (e. g. connected/entangled histories; boundary objects). Interculturality is understood in the context of the present essay as a cross-disciplinary theoretical framework in the sense of entangled histories research work interwoven with communication, aesthetic and cultural techniques approaches or resilience studies in a historical perspective. (shrink)
In his Lectures on Fine Art (1835), Hegel emphasizes the grotesque character of Indian art. Grotesqueness results, in his view, from a contradiction between meaning and shape due to the incongruous combination of spiritual and material elements. Since Hegel's history of art is teeming with examples of inadequacy between meaning and shape, this paper aims to distinguish the grotesque from other types of artistic dissonance and to problematize Hegel's ascriptions of grotesqueness to ancient Indian art. In the first part of (...) the paper, I characterize the grotesque by the unnatural distortion of natural shapes with the purpose of achieving a direct sensuous manifestation of an indeterminate and impersonal divinity, Brahman. Such an attempt is, in Hegel's view, self-contradictory and self-defeating, leading to an exaggeration of the conflict between nature and spirit instead of the intended reconciliation between the two parts. In the second part of the paper, I compare Hegel's account of Indian art to the ‘monstrous myths’ of early modern Europe. Unlike his predecessors, Hegel legitimizes the grotesque representations of Hindu gods as endowed with profound meaning and the result of a universal human need, yet he describes them as ultimately irrational and repulsive based on a prejudiced view of the Indian people(s). In this sense, Hegel's assessment of Indian art functions as a reflection of modern European culture, its fascination and horror in the face of what Enlightenment could not entirely purge, rather than as a truthful and objective account of Indian art and culture. By questioning Hegel's characterization of Hindu iconography and mythology, this paper contributes to underexplored areas of Hegelian aesthetics, namely Hegel's account of symbolic art, especially Indian art, as well as his views on negative aesthetic experiences and values. (shrink)
Art, for Hegel, is not only distinct but self-distinguishing of and from nature – it happens in and through the latter. It liberates us from being merely natural creatures, and it does so by a dynamic of a cut or break - even though this liberation is achieved only through natural sensuousness, and hence, keeps us tethered to nature in some particular way. Inspired by Todd McGowan’s emphasis on the central role of contradiction in Hegel’s philosophy, this paper considers the (...) possibility to applying the dialectic between art and nature as it is unfolded in Hegel’s Aesthetic to a more insidious constellation — namely, what Marxists came to refer to as second nature: the world of commodities, in which man-made things appear to those who produce them as a naturalised and repressive opposite, a pseudo nature, an alienated solidified history. (shrink)
El capítulo expone el lugar dialéctico-sistemático de la escultura clásica en las Lecciones de estética de Hegel, poniendo de relieve su afinidad con las descripciones de Winckelmann, como interpretación moderna, del arte griego de los siglos IV y V.
In both politics and art in recent decades, there has been a dramatic shift in emphasis on representation of identity. Liberal ideals of universality and individuality have given way to a concern with the visibility and recognition of underrepresented groups. Modernist and postmodernist celebrations of disruption and subversion have been challenged by the view that representation is integral to social change. Despite this convergence, neither political nor aesthetic theory has given much attention to the increasingly central role of art in (...) debates and struggles over cultural identity in the public sphere. -/- Connecting Hegelian aesthetics with contemporary cultural politics, Jason Miller argues that both the aesthetic and political value of art are found in the reflexive self-awareness that artistic representation enables. The significance of art in modern life is that it shows us both the particular element in humanity as well as the human element in particularity. Just as Hegel asks us to acknowledge how different historical and cultural contexts produce radically different experiences of art, identity-based art calls on its audiences to situate themselves in relation to perspectives and experiences potentially quite remote—or even inaccessible—from their own. Miller offers a timely response to questions such as: How does contemporary art’s politics of perception contest liberal notions of deliberative politics? How does the cultural identity of the artist relate to the representations of cultural identity in their work? How do we understand and evaluate identity-based art aesthetically? -/- Discussing a wide range of works of art and popular culture—from Antigone to Do the Right Thing and The Wire—this book develops a new conceptual framework for understanding the representation of cultural identity that affirms art’s capacity to effect social change. (shrink)
This chapter focuses on Hegel's important but underappreciated conception of romantic art. The author argues that for Hegel, art is a work of language. Whereas Hegel believes classical art is a work of language that serves as a foundation of society, however, romantic art provides what the author refers to as a supplement.
Speight has recently raised the question, which he himself leaves unanswered, how naturalism relates to spirit in Hegel’s philosophy of art. ‘Naturalism’ denotes an explanation that invokes aspects of nature that are (allegedly) irreducible or resistant to thought. I call nature ‘stubborn’ insofar as it evinces resistance to its being formed by thought and hence to its being united with it. This paper argues that §§556, 558 and 560 of Hegel’s Encyclopedia answer Speight’s question by specifying three elements of nature (...) that, first, are present in art and, second, are resistant to thought. These are materiality, natural form, and genius. They exhibit nature’s stubbornness in art. This stubbornness, I argue, is what justifies Hegel’s claim that art is absolute spirt only implicitly (§556), which leads to the claim that art needs to be superseded by religion and philosophy. In this way, Speight’s question receives a precise answer. (shrink)
This book is concerned with the continuing viability of both Freud and Hegel to the reading of modern literature. The book begins with Julia Kristeva’s attempts to relate Hegelian thought to a psychoanalytically informed conception of semiotics that was first explored in her influential study, The Revolution of Poetic Language, and then modified in later books that develop semiotics in new directions. Kristeva’s agreements and disagreement with Hegel are important to the book’s argument, which ultimately defends Hegel against familiar, poststructuralist (...) detractions. However, the book’s conceptual argument requires a historical exposition, with chapters devoted to literary figures ranging from Spenser to Ishiguro. One of the purposes of the book is to demonstrate that Hegel’s contribution to modern thought is at least partially exhibited in the history of literature, which also corroborates some of the deeper insights of psychoanalysis. (shrink)
Dass Kunst Sinnliches zu vergeistigen und Geistiges zu versinnlichen vermag, macht ihren Wesenskern und zugleich Rätselcharakter aus. Dass dieses Rätsel immer erneut als unaufgelöst erscheint, bedeutet auch, dass eine fortdauernde Irritation von Kunst ausgeht. Das Bestürzende der Kunst ist dies, dass sie den scheinbar unversöhnlichen Gegensatz des Geistigen und Sinnlichen zugleich als versöhnt erscheinen lässt: als Ver-Sinnlichung von Ideellem. Hegels These, dass die Kunst, eben durch diese Bindung an Sinnliches, 'ihrer eigentlichen Bestimmung nach für uns ein Vergangenes' sei, erscheint so (...) gesehen problematisch. Hat die geistesgeschichtliche Entwicklung die Kunst ihrer Irrelevanz überführt im Vergleich mit den nach Hegel höheren Formen des Geistigen, der Religion und der Philosophie? Entscheidend ist die Bewertung des sinnlichen Elements – dies näher zu klären wird hier in der Konfrontation der Hegelschen These mit den Kunstdeutungen Heideggers und Adornos unternommen. (shrink)
For most readers of the Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel’s example of “Ethical Action” is taken from Sophocles’ Antigone. In fact, however, Hegel provides us with a trilogy of tragic examples. The first is Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos; the second, Aeschylus’s Seven against Thebes; Antigone is but the third. Further, just as a dramatic trilogy was followed by a satyr play among the ancients, ethical action’s final moment is taken from Aristophanes’ Ekklesiazousai. These four examples do not form a simple series where (...) each equally expresses the truth of ethical action. Rather, they are increasingly adequate to that truth. (shrink)
A fate similar to Kant’s sometimes befalls Hegel: the importance of their meditation on art is not always given its full due. In Kant’s case the Critique of Judgement becomes an elaborate afterthought, filling some of the gaps left by the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Practical Reason. Particularly with English-speaking commentators, Kant is read from the First Critique forwards, never also from the Third Critique backwards. Hegel, we add, did not lend himself to such a unilinear (...) reading of Kant; yet his own concern with art is frequently subject to a similar consideration. Despite the fact that Hegel unabashedly ascribes to art a certain absoluteness, his reflections on art tend not to be placed close to the core of his philosophy as a whole. As in commentaries on Kant, so also with Hegel: towards the end of involved exegeses, we get a quick run-through of their aesthetic views, as if both too did write on these matters, yet somehow in a not central way. Art comes after the hard work is done, it does not shape their thought from the beginning. We may marvel at the astonishing breadth of culture displayed by Hegel’s Lectures on Aesthetics, all the more surprising, given Hegel’s reputation as an unbending rationalist. In them we may find many rich reflections on art’s significance. Yet these tend to be detached from the general principles of Hegel’s philosophy, and praised or criticized in isolation. Even when due weight is given to the general principles of Hegel’s thought, and even when these principles are held to reveal something of art’s significance, the significance of art for philosophy itself tends to remain unexplored. How the art work enters intimately into Hegel’s ideal of philosophical thinking is not always entertained for the central question that it is. (shrink)
The paper examines the "Pleasure and Necessity" section of the Reason chapter in the Phenomenology of Spirit. The temporality of sexual pleasure and satisfaction is best iterated, for Hegel, in the Mozart's Don Giovanni, rather than in Goethe's early Faust fragment, as is usually supposed. In the figure of Don Giovanni, Hegel finds an expression of the futile punctuality of the pleasure-seeker's pursuits and his ultimate destiny in the uncompromising necessity of natural death.
Kathleen Dow Magnus' Hegel and the Symbolic Mediation of Spirit is a welcome exposition of the role of the symbol in Hegel's philosophy, and it is an important contribution to scholarship on Hegel's philosophy of language, aesthetics, and theology. Magnus is concerned to provide an alternative to the view that Hegel fails to recognize the value of the symbol in the course of privileging the sign. As Jacques Derrida writes, "The sign, as the unity of the signifying body and the (...) signified ideality, becomes a kind of incarnation". Magnus' accords Derrida's perspective the seriousness it deserves, while considering it within a close reading of Hegel himself. (shrink)
Using Blanchot’s Heideggerian conception of “negativity,” this paper argues that the Hegelian conception of desire is defined by its pursuit of comprehension of the concept, but, because of the operation of negativity, the comprehension of the concept perpetually reproduces the desire for further comprehension. Desiring self-consciousness thus perpetually recreates its own opacity to itself, and the pursuit of the object of desire destroys its own fulfilment. The Greek mythical figure of Orpheus, whose gaze destroys the beloved for whom he longs, (...) is used to illustrate self-consciousness desire for identity. (shrink)
This essay explains the role of history and ethical life (Sittlichkeit) in the first section of the chapter entitled Spirit in the Phenomenology of Spirit, in which Hegel interprets the meaning of Sophocles' Antigone as the best expression of the ancient Greeks ethical life in its preliminary and most immediate state. It is argued, first, that Hegels understanding of the ethical life was developed as an alternative, based on history, to Kants notion of morals (Sitten) and, second, that Hegel considered (...) the ancient Greek mode of living limited by its immediacy and, therefore, never hoped to revive it during his own time. (shrink)
Habermas's conception of deliberative democracy could be fruitfully supplemented with a discussion of the "institutional design" of civil society; for example the architecture of public spaces should be considered. This paper argues that Hegel's discussion of architecture in his 'Aesthetics' can speak to this issue. For Hegel, architecture culminates in the gothic cathedral, because of how it fosters reflection on the part of the worshiper. This discussion suggests the possibility that architecture could foster a similar kind of intersubjective reflection. To (...) make his thoughts more pertinent for current debates, Hegel's views are adapted to fit three contemporary secular institutions. (shrink)
Masking the Abject traces the beginnings of the malediction of play in Western metaphysics to Aristotle. Mechthild Nagel's innovative study demonstrates how play has served as a 'castaway' in western philosophical thinking: It is considered to be repulsive and loathsome, yet also fascinating and desirable. The book illustrates how play 'succeeds' and proliferates after Hegel—despite its denunciation by classical philosophers—entering Marxist, phenomenological, postmodern, and feminist discourses. This work provides the reader with a superb analyisis of how the distinction between the (...) serious and the playful has developed over time, charting play's changing ontological status, and ethical and aesthetic dimensions, from the logocentric to the bacchnalian. (shrink)
In his early and unpublished essay on Schiller’s trilogy Wallenstein, Hegel criticizes the plays’ denouement as “horrific” and “appalling” and for depicting the triumph of death over life. Why was the young Hegel’s response to Wallenstein so negative? To answer this question, I first offer an analysis of Wallenstein in terms of Hegel’s mature theory of modern tragedy. I argue that Schiller’s portrayal of Wallenstein’s character and death indeed render the play a particularly dark and unredemptive example of modern tragedy (...) as Hegel understands it. I suggest, however, that Hegel’s early objections are primarily motivated by his philosophy of history rather than by his theory of tragedy. Hegel accurately sensed the loss of faith in historical progress that Schiller experienced in the wake of the French Revolution; in essays written shortly before Wallenstein appeared, Schiller associates the tragic sublime with humans’ ability to act in the face of the meaninglessness of history. In his essay “The German Constitution,” composed during the same period as his Wallenstein review, Hegel instead formulates his familiar exhortation that we see history as meaningful. Hegel’s objection to Wallenstein’s darkness, then, is primarily an objection to the vision of history it portrays. Against the background of Peter Stein’s 2007 Berlin production of Wallenstein, I suggest that Wallenstein’s lasting appeal lies in its ability to allow audiences to experience the sublime as Schiller intended: as an assertion of our agency despite the cycles of history we so little control. (shrink)
As the author of this agreeably written book points out, the Lectures on Aesthetics is a neglected work in English-language Hegel scholarship. Desmond responds to this lack by aiming not at a full commentary but rather at a selective discussion of some central issues. He believes that the result should be of interest not merely to Hegel scholars or philosophers but also to a wider audience, with concerns in art and in modern culture generally.
Recent feminist criticism suggests that Hegel’s account of Antigone in the Phenomenology of Spirit is antithetical to feminism on two key counts: first, Hegel does not develop an authentic political representation of women’s agency and participation in the community, and second, he does not provide a model for a genuinely ethical order especially where relations between men and women are concerned. Patricia Jagentowicz Mills and Luce Irigaray are two feminist thinkers who have expressed these positions. They both take issue with (...) Hegel’s interpretation of Antigone’s actions, although each for different reasons. Mills argues that Hegel misrepresents the experience of women in the Greek community, symbolized by Antigone, as not self-conscious, unreflective, and incapable of enduring ethical conflict. The main reason for this mistaken identity, according to Mills, stems from Hegel’s beliefs that human law and man are ethically superior to divine law and woman, and that the former can legitimately rule over, indeed dominate, the latter. Irigaray asserts that the phallogocentric power of the masculine in Hegel’s text almost completely eliminates the possibility of an authentic feminine individual and action. According to this view, an autonomous feminine understanding of purpose and action is rendered impossible by the feminine’s very masculinization at the outset. At issue here is whether Antigone can indeed be understood as an ethical actor when she acts on behalf of the family and/or whether she can be understood as an ethical actor who represents the community. The conclusions drawn from these interpretations have been that, for Hegel, women are not genuine political actors, on the one hand, because their association with the family disqualifies them as such, and on the other hand, because their actions are constituted by consciousness which is masculine, and also instrumentalized for the masculine. (shrink)
In The Ethics of Authorship, Daniel Berthold depicts G. W. F. Hegel and Søren Kierkegaard as endorsing two postmodern principles. The first is an ethical ideal. Authors should abdicate their traditional privileged position as arbiters of their texts’ meaning. They should allow readers to determine this meaning for themselves. Only by doing so will they help readers attain genuine selfhood. The second principle is a claim about language. To wit, language cannot express an author’s thoughts. I argue that if the (...) claim about language holds, the ethical ideal becomes superfluous. In addition, if Berthold has identified Hegel and Kierkegaard’s views regarding the issues in question by reading their works, then either they failed to execute their ethical project or their views about language are false. (shrink)
Introduction : Rorschach tests -- A question of style -- Live or tell -- Kierkegaard's seductions -- Hegel's seductions -- Talking cures -- A penchant for disguise : the death (and rebirth) of the author in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche -- Passing over : the death of the author in Hegel -- Conclusion : the melancholy of having finished -- Aftersong : from low down.
A Hegelian reading of good and bad luck -- In Shakespearean drama (phen. of spirit, King Lear, Othello, Hamlet, a Midsummer night's dream) -- Tearing the fabric: Hegel's Antigone, Shakespeare's Coriolanus, and kinship-state conflict (phen. of spirit c. 6, Judith Butler's Antigone, Coriolanus) -- Aufhebung and anti-aufhebung: geist and ghosts in Hamlet (phen. of spirit, Hamlet) -- The problem of genius in King Lear: Hegel on the feeling soul and the tragedy of wonder (anthropology and psychology in the encyclopaedia, Philosophy (...) of mind, King Lear) -- Richard II's mirror and the alienation of the Universal Will (of the I that is a We) (Richard II, phen. of spirit c. 5) -- Falstaff and the politics of wit: negative infinite judgment in a culture of alienation (Henry IV parts I & II, phen. of spirit c. 6, philosophy of right) -- Henry V's unchangeableness: his rejection of wit and his posture of virtue reinterpreted in the light of Hegel's theory of virtue (philosophy of right, Henry V) -- Hegel's theory of crime and evil: (re)tracing the rights of the sovereign self (aesthetics, phen. of spirit, phil. of right, Richard II through to Henry V) -- Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth and Henry V: conscience, hypocrisy, self-deceit and the tragedy of ethical life (phil. of right, Richard III, Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry V) -- Negation of the negative infinite judgment versus sublation of it: punishment vs. pardon (phil. of right, phen. of spirit c. 6 and Henry VIII) -- Universal wit : the absolute theater of identity (phen. of spirit c. 6 and 8, Pericles, the Tempest) -- Absolute infections and their cure (phen. of spirit c. 6, the Winter's tale). (shrink)
This paper looks at the themes of nature, humanity, and military and industrial development in the nineteenth century American painter Winslow Homer through the lens of the Hegelian theory of art. Robert Pippin's After the Beautiful has recently put the Hegelian framework to very fruitful use in understanding pictorial modernism. This study of Homer follows a similar approach but argues that Homer's canvases represent a development in the modern spirt which, in many ways, goes beyond the canvases of Manet – (...) a very tight modernist contemporary of Homer's. Homer communicates a presentment of the immense and, in certain profound respects, horrifying power of humanity's growing industrialization. I trace the development of this idea over the course of his career, from this early Civil War canvases to his final seascapes and argue that an understanding of Homer's work is important for understanding the modern spirit of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (shrink)
Hegel's Aesthetics is the first comprehensive interpretation of Hegel's philosophy of art in English in thirty years. It gives a new analysis of his notorious "end of art" thesis, shows the indispensability of his aesthetics to his philosophy generally, and argues for his theory's relevance today.
Despite Hegel’s effusive praise for art as one of the ways humans express truth, art by his description is both essentially limited and at perpetual risk of ending. This hybrid assessment is apparent first in Hegel’s account of art’s development, which shows art culminating in classical sculpture’s perfect unity but then, unable to depict Christianity’s interiority, evolving into religion, surrendering to division, or dissipating into prose. It is also evident in his ranking of artistic genres from architecture to poetry according (...) to their ability to help humans produce themselves both individually and collectively: the more adequately art depicts human self-understanding, the more it risks ceasing to be art. Nevertheless, art’s myriad endings do not exhaust its potential. Art that makes us alive to the unity and interdependence at the heart of reality continues to express the Idea and so achieves Hegel’s ambitions for its role in human life. (shrink)
Towards the very end of his wide-ranging lectures on the philosophy of art, Hegel unexpectedly expresses a preference for comedy over tragedy. More surprisingly, given his systematic claims for his aesthetic theory, he suggests that this preference is arbitrary. This essay suggests that this arbitrariness is itself systematic, given Hegel’s broader claims about unity and necessity in art generally and his analysis of ancient as opposed to modern drama in particular. With the emergence of modern subjectivity, tragic plots lose their (...) necessity and so their redemptive conclusions; comic plots disintegrate into mockery and entertainment. In many cases, the dramas in question consequently fail to be art. This does not, however, mean that art ends: insofar as it inspires humans to a better understanding of their unity with the divine, it will continue to meet its mandate. But the lack of necessity in modern drama means we are free to prefer happy endings. Hegel’s seemingly arbitrary preference is, in the end, systematically justified. (shrink)
In this essay I consider the end-of-art thesis in its metaphysical and empirical versions. I show that both use the correspondence theory of truth as the basis for their conception of the history of art. As a counterpart to these theories I have chosen Patočka’s conception of the history of art. His theory is based also on the relationship between art and truth, but he conceives truth in the phenomenological sense of manifestation. In the rest of the essay I seek (...) to show the consequences Patočka’s conception has for the history of art. In the rst part, I set out to show Patocka’s critique of Hegel’s aesthetics as a system based on the correspondence theory of truth. In particular, I endeavour to explain his critique of some intrinsic problems of Hegel’s aesthetics, the general failure of Hegel’s system to achieve its goal, and, lastly, Hegel’s giving up on the meaning of the art in the present. I also seek to show that Danto’s version runs into the same problems and conclusions as Hegel’s. In the second part I discuss Patočka’s analysis of modern art and the aesthetic attitude, where he nds a hidden a nity between art and aletheia, which Hegel overlooked. e last part of the essay focuses on the consequences that the conception of the truth of art as aletheia have for the history of art. I conclude that art in such a conception represents an independent eld of the manifestation of being in history beside philosophy. Moreover, modern and contemporary art do not mean the end of art; rather, they have their place in art history based on aletheia, since they are more focused on the manifestation itself than on what is manifested. Unlike Hegel and Danto, therefore, Patočka retains the historical meaning of modern and contemporary art. His conception of the history of art, summed up under the idea of aletheia, has greater explanatory potential than Hegel’s and Danto’s conceptions, and it retains the historical meaning of modern and contemporary art. (shrink)
This paper argues that Hegel attempts to appropriate the irreversible aspects of Romantic aesthetics in four ways: (i) Hegel radicalizes Kantian aesthetics on the basis of a basically textual approach to sublime experience that opens up the question of community as a philosophical one; (ii) without demoting classical conceptions of art, Hegel privileges Romantic conceptions that demonstrate the ascendancy of sign over symbol in a spiraling chain; (iii) Hegel laments the fate of art in the triumph of Romantic subjectivism but (...) also suggests how communities can reconstitute themselves on the horizon of aesthetic dissolution; so that, finally, (iv) art can be reconceived as a emancipatory adventure that redefines metaphysics through its historical unfolding as an unending series of semiotic transformations. (shrink)