Read e-book online A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism PDF

By Richard Howells (auth.)

ISBN-10: 113744617X

ISBN-13: 9781137446176

ISBN-10: 1349685798

ISBN-13: 9781349685790

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Marxism up to that time had focused considerably more attention upon the base than the superstructure, but the Frankfurt school fought to introduce culture – both high and low – into an understanding of the whole system. Rather than dismissing popular culture as irrelevant, therefore, the Frankfurt school, including Adorno, Horkheimer, Lowenthal, Ernst Bloch and Utopian Critical Theory 31 Benjamin and Habermas, dedicated a great deal of scholarly attention to holding it up to rigorous examination.

Such content-analytical projects are well worth undertaking, but in my analysis here, the Utopian aspect of form is more intellectually challenging and potentially rewarding. It also takes us beyond the political to the (for want of a better term) philosophical. I will return in greater depth to form in Chapter 6. In addition to form, an advantage of studying the Amish is their chosen status as a living anachronism. 1 The Amish descend from the German Anabaptists and are named after their founder, Jacob Amann.

Rather, it was a social and spiritual place that mankind had only glimpsed in the ‘not yet’ but to which he would return in the future. As he concluded in The Principle of Hope, ‘Once he has grasped himself and established what is his ... ’84 This has taken us all a long way from Plato. Plato, we remember, asserted that art was merely a form of play and not to be taken seriously. Art was, he believed, simply an illusion that provided a poor substitute for the real thing. We can see, then, how radically different is Bloch’s view: Stage and story can be either a protective park or a laboratory; sometimes they console or appease, sometimes they incite; they can be a flight from or a pre-figuring of the future.

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A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design by Richard Howells (auth.)


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