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Alison Ross. The Aesthetic Paths of Philosophy: Presentation in Kant, Heidegger, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2007 [Book Review]

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journal contribution
posted on 22.05.2017 by Carlo Salzani
The thesis of this book is clearly stated in the introduction: “the thinking of Heidegger, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy can (and perhaps in a significant sense must) be understood as ways of addressing the problem of presentation as framed by and inherited from Kant’s Critique of Judgement” (4). Ross identifies in Heidegger, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy a funda-mental “aesthetic attitude” that leads them to “steer philosophy in an aes-thetic direction” (1). The same aesthetic attitude that characterises Kant’s Critique of Judgement, that is, the “search for a satisfactory mode of relation between the forms of material nature and human freedom,” which results in an aesthetic use of language, becomes the framework for these thinkers’ approach to philosophy. Ross argues thus that this “aesthetic steering of philosophy” is best understood as an “adaptation of the specific and technical employment of the notion of presentation [Darstellung] in Kant’s Critique of Judgement” (1).


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