The Implication of Images in the Revival of Aesthetics

Anthony J. Cascardi


Contemporary aesthetic theory is embedded in a culture dominated by images, and so would seem to require a reversal of Plato's critique of image-making. In adopting this stance, aesthetic theory follows in the footsteps of Nietzsche, whose own project was conceived as a reversal of Platonism. But the critique of Plato that underpins these views is based on a tradition that has misconstrued some of Plato's fundamental ideas. For this reason, the standard critique of Platonism is ineffective as a critical response to the culture of images. Aesthetic theory needs instead to produce a critique of the contemporary image-world based on the view that it emerges from a transformation in the paradigm of production. Images are no longer merely a part of the world that is produced, but themselves have a crucial role in the process of production.

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