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Hegel And The End Of Art

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Chapter Summary

In view of the many voices of dissent and reinterpretation, this chapter presents a rather orthodox defence of Hegel: that what he meant by the thesis of the "end of art" is quite true, and discloses something of genuine importance about the situation of the arts in modern times. What is this vocation, the philosophical concept of art? Hegel discusses this question in the whole first part of the Lectures on Aesthetics. But he does so in a rather strange way: he does it twice. In the first part he offers a systematic "deduction" of the concept and essential characteristics of the work of art from the metaphysical idea of beauty. But before that, in the long Introduction, he presents a reverse train of thought. The incongruence between the two "deductions" offers the key to the Hegelian understanding of the end/vocation, the philosophical concept of art.

Keywords: Hegel; Lectures on Aesthetics; modern art



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