Cover of Aesthetic Democracy by Thomas Docherty
Aesthetic Democracy
Thomas Docherty

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2006
192 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804751889
Paper ISBN: 9780804751896

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Aesthetic Democracy argues that art and the aesthetic in general are the founding condition of the possibility of establishing social and political democracy. The book examines contemporary criticism and finds that it is historically shaped by colonialism, and that it sets up an opposition of east and west that shapes all contemporary cultural politics. The author argues for a way of outwitting this potentially dangerous struggle of east and west grounded in an aestheticism and a validation of sensory experience. Docherty proposes a new model of cultural critique, based on a revitalized and positively valorized notion of "hypocrisy," whose roots lie in Machiavelli, but whose contemporary strength lies in its potential for an ethical encounter with alterity as such.

About the author

Thomas Docherty is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick.