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Kant, aesthetics and contemporary art

23–24 October 2020 – Online (via Zoom)


This conference discusses the relation between Kant, aesthetics and contemporary art. Kant’s aesthetics is rarely discussed in relation to contemporary art. If the artworld wants a philosophical framework born of German idealism, it is usually Hegel’s dialectic, with predictions of the end of history and the death of art, that is drawn upon. Furthermore, while Kant’s treatment of the sublime might attract interest, the fact that the greater part of the Critique of Judgment focuses on beauty and judgments of taste can give the impression that his aesthetics has little to offer contemporary art. But there is much in Kant that can both inform and question recent art theory and practice:

  • the scope of aesthetics in and after conceptual art
  • the nature of aesthetic judgment
  • the role of concepts in aesthetic experience
  • how actions of appropriation and transposition might draw upon Kant’s epistemology
  • the status of sensibility as a faculty that challenges (the) understanding
  • Lyotard’s reading of Kant and the sublime.

The conference programme is a series of keynote and plenary papers, i.e. no panels, so all delegates have the opportunity to attend all papers.

Keynote Speakers

Aesthetic ideas and conceptual art

Diarmuid Costello, University of Warwick, UK

‘Free’ play? Kant, play and the question of aesthetics in contemporary art practice

Katarzyna Zimna, Technical University of Lodz, Poland

On being contemporary: Kant, Kentridge and cave art

Fiona Hughes, University of Essex, UK

Kant, Lyotard, and the sublime in contemporary art

Rachel Zuckert, Northwestern University, USA

Plenary Speakers

Kant and contemporary cinema

Patricia Castello Branco, New University of Lisbon

Lyotard and Kant on the state of the sublime in art

Adrian Kvokacka, University of Prešov 

Time and judgment in Kant

Clive Cazeaux, Cardiff Metropolitan University

A taste of moral concerns

João Lemos, New University of Lisbon

Laughing with Kant and Lucas

Anna Enström, Södertörn University

‘This is Art.’ Conceptualising art within the aesthetic judgment. Or: Kant after de Duve

Christoph Poetsch, Heidelberg University

Schematism without concept: aesthetic judgments and the free lawful play of the imagination

Luigi Filieri, University of Pisa

Kant on concept formation in aesthetic judgment

Sabina Vaccarino Bremner, Columbia University

Kant and the contemporary philosophy of poetry

Iris Vidmar Jovanović, University of Rijeka

Organising Committee

Clive Cazeaux, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Howard Williams, Cardiff University

Andrew Jones, University of Exeter

Registration instructions

To register please follow the Eventbrite link on the registration page at the top of the webpage.

If you have any queries, please contact Andy Jones: aj359[@]exeter.ac.uk

**Image: Katarzyna Zimna, S-he, 2017–18. Linocut, spray paint, 100 x 70 cm

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