Conversely, Buck-Morss claims, the concept of “aesthetics” as it has evolved into modernity actually describes an anaesthetics. or the sensory negotiation of. Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered Author(s): Susan Buck-Morss Reviewed work(s): Source: October, Vol. 62 ( Autumn. ics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay. Reconsidered”; “The Buck-Morss discusses her recent work on the aesthetic and its significance for art .

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See Wangensteen and Wangensteen,pp. Yale University Press,p. Rather, it is to anaestheticcs a transformationin perception,the implicationsof which far surpassed the scene of the surgicaloperation. Such an asensual, anaestheticprotruberanceis this artifact: One could go on documenting this solopsistic-and often trulysilly- fantasyof the phallus,thistale of all-malereproduction,the magicartof creation ex nihilo.

It could be argued, for example, that precisely in its most biological aspect reproduction of our speciesthe privatized family is unsocial. The senses are effects of the nervous system, composed of hundreds of billions of neurons extending from the body surfaces through the spinal cord, to the brain.

Marx’s Capital writtenin the s and thus a part of the same era as Wagner’s operas describes the factoryas a total environment: The literaltranslationof the German titleis significantlydifferent: Eagleton traces the ideological implicationsof this concept during its checkered career in the modern era-how it bounces like a ball among philo- sophical positions, from its critical-materialist connotations in Baumgarten’s original articulation,to its class-based meaning in the work of Shaftesburyand Burke as an aestheticsof “sensibility,” an aristocraticmoral style,and thence to Germany.


This point may seem trivial, or unnecessarily sophistic. The moral being is sense-dead from the start. Sensoryaddiction to a compensatoryrealitybecomes a means of social control.

Susan Buck-Morss — Texts — Aesthetics and Anaesthetics, Part I

Effectsof nitrousoxide reported in Prescott,p. They reach out toward other nerve cells at points called synapses,where electricalcharges pass throughthe space between them. Schweizer claims, against Croce, that Baumgarten was not overly concerned or apologetic, and that the real bias against the aesthetic is a later development.

Betrachtungen zur Zeit Stuttgart: II What I will not try to do is to take you through the whole historyof Westernmetaphysicsin order to demonstratethe permutationsof thisconstel- lation in termsof the inner-historicaldevelopment of philosophy,a decontex- tualized “life of the mind. And yet,if the individual does find a point of view fromwhich it can see itselfas whole, the social techno-bodydisappears fromview. As a result, the system reverses its role.

Benjamin is saying that sensory alienation lies at the source of the aestheticizationof politics,whichfascismdoes not create,but merely”manages” We are to assume thatboth alienationand aestheticizedpoliticsas the betreibt. This section is stronglyindebted to Foster’s insights. In the manuscripts, Marx notes: The goal is manipulationof the synaestheticsystemby controlof envi- ronmentalstimuli.


For Kant the dominationof nature was internalized: Its unity is superimposed. So little does aesthetics have to do intrinsically with morws philosophical trinity of Art, Beauty, and Truth that one might rather place it within the field of animal instincts.

Buck-Morss on Anaesthethics

Oxford UniversityPress, ], p. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. The medical practice was professionalized in the mid-nineteenthcentury,’03and doctors anaestyetics prototypicalof a new elite of technicalexperts.

The brain is thus not an isolable anatomical body, but part of a system that passes through the person and her or his culturally specific, historically transient environment. The more readily consciousness registers these shocks, the less likely they are to have a traumatic effect. Benjamin wanted to investigatethe “fruitfulness” of Freud’s hypothesis, thatconsciousnessparriesshockbypreventingitfrompenetratingdeep enough to leave a permanenttraceon memory,byapplyingit to “situationsfarremoved from those which Mirss had in mind.

For that reason an excellent aneastheticsit has been staunchly defended and highly praised. This included, explicitly,his sensual relationshipswithbeautifulyoung men. Yet Eagleton is correctto note that the affirmationof sense experience is short-livedin Baumgarten’s theory: It affirmedthe aesthetic beauty, firstand foremost,of the male body.