The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno

2014.10.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Ayon Maharaj, The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno, Bloomsbury, 2013, 212pp.,
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2014.10.12 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Ayon Maharaj, The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno, Bloomsbury, 2013, 212pp., $37.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781472579591. Reviewed by Jason M. Miller, Warren Wilson College In his debut monograph Ayon Maharaj develops the core argument of his 2009 doctoral dissertation into an original and meticulously crafted account of aesthetic agency in its conceptual evolution from Kant to Adorno. The central argument -- that art can offer uniquely valuable and revealing forms of experience -- is, of course, nothing new: it is one of the central claims of German Idealism's challenge to the sovereignty of Enlightenment rationality. Similarly, the historical arc is a familiar one, proceeding from Kantian to Romantic to Hegelian aesthetics and culminating with Adorno's post-romantic synthesis of these competing traditions. Nor, for that matter, is the attempt to rescue the claims of. . .

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