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Aesthetic Licence: Foucault's Modernism and Kant's Post-modernism

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Abstract:

Recently criticism and theory have maintained that Kant's aesthetic theory is central to modernism, and have used Foucault's archaeology to interrogate that modernism. This paper suggests that archaeology ultimately cannot escape Kant's hold because it depends on Kantian theses. The first section will consider how a recent exponent of an 'archaeological' viewpoint characterizes Kant's theory and will set out the critical role Kant ascribes to art. The second section compares Kant and Foucault to argue that despite appearances their projects turn out to be substantially coterminal. My interest in comparing these critics is not only to be provocative but also to show that post-modernist thinking, at least in the guise of Foucault, needs and uses standards that Kant proposes.

Keywords: AESTHETICS; DE DUVE; DUCHAMP; FOUCAULT; MODERNISM; POST-MODERNISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/096725599341776

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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