Art, history, and the decline of tradition
Gadamer argues, in a prescriptive way, that the rise of the historical sciences coincided with a regrettable decline in the authority of the Western philosophical, religious, and aesthetic traditions. But Gadamer also argues, in a more descriptive way, that the history of Western culture since Greek antiquity fundamentally involves a number of uninterrupted traditions, or even a single uninterrupted tradition. Gadamer's account of modern aesthetics and art shows a similar ambiguity. Gadamer argues, in a class="EmphasisTypeItalic ">prescriptive way, that modern aesthetics and art are regrettably plagued by an "aesthetic consciousness" (ästhetisches Bewußtsein) that reduces the creation and reception of art to mere aesthetic play and that breaks with tradition. But Gadamer also argues, in a more descriptive way, that, ultimately, even the most esoteric modern artists retain a dependence on tradition.
Odenstedt, A. (2017). Art, history, and the decline of tradition, in Gadamer on tradition - historical context and the limits of reflection, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 33-62.
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