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Interventions in Contemporary ThoughtHistory, Politics, Aesthetics$
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Gabriel Rockhill

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474405355

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474405355.001.0001

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Aesthetic Revolution and Modern Democracy: Rancière’s Historiography

Aesthetic Revolution and Modern Democracy: Rancière’s Historiography

(p.100) Chapter 3 Aesthetic Revolution and Modern Democracy: Rancière’s Historiography*
Interventions in Contemporary Thought

Gabriel Rockhill

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter turns to the work of Jacques Rancière, who has, perhaps more than any other prominent living philosopher, extended the historical and historiographical work of Foucault by proposing an archeology of aesthetics, with a particular concern for its relationship to the history of politics. In doing so, however, he has stalwartly refused to provide a genealogical account of the emergence of aesthetics, which appeared at more or less the same time as modern democracy. This chapter thereby sets as its task a critical reassessment of the genealogical limitations of Rancière’s account of the historical relationship between art and politics. It is in this light that it advances an alternative account of historical causality by examining the variable conjuncture of determinants that contributed to the emergence of what Rancière calls the aesthetic regime of art.

Keywords:   Genealogy, modern democracy, aesthetics, revolution, Rancière, Foucault, Habermas

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