(1988) Man and World 21 (4).

Nous avons l'art pour vivre dans la vérité

Hannah Arendt, lectrice de Kant: indications pour une méditation de l'art

Danielle Lories

pp. 433-451

The paper aims at sketching the outline of a phenomenology of the artwork on the basis of the short analyses devoted to the topic by Hannah Arendt in a few texts. In order to overcome the mostly allusive and even superficial character of these texts, the paper refers to Kant's teaching in theCritique of Judgment and to Arendt's interpretation of it in several essays.We have tried to pursue as far as possible, in the direction of a philosophy of art, the path opened by her political interpretation of the thirdCritique. We have also endeavoured to develop, beyond what she writes explicitly but in an attempt to make her thought as consistent as possible, the marginal suggestions provided by the book onThinking about the relations between judgment and thought and the theses stated byThe Human Condition about the work of art as a reified thought.Accordingly, the artwork appears to be, in the realm of artefacts, what is the best, appropriated to provide to a human world its stability; since the artwork is the most enduring product of thehomo faber, while escaping the means-end categories as well as any usefulness. Hence the artwork is able to display within the realm of human artefacts the meaning of a human world; namely, a home on the earth, a dwelling to be shared in their being-together. While being useless and merely appearing in the world, the work is also what calls for a judgment of taste such as Kant describes it. This means a judgment of common sense based upon a sharing of the world by fellow-people, and aiming at a standard which is thesensus communis as the very condition of possibility of such a sharing. Moreover, the artwork is a thought made into a thing. Again, as a thought which appears in the world, it calls for judging; for a judgment is a thought which renouncing solitude comes back to the human community. Therefore it turns out that the artwork unifies the human community in its sharing of a common world. Indeed, by requesting that we judge it, the artwork appeals in ourselves to asensus communis through which our thought takes into account the point of view of the others. Moreover, as a thought embodied in a hand-made thing, the artwork makes meaning present and publicly appearing in the sensible world.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/BF01253076

Full citation:

Lories, D. (1988). Nous avons l'art pour vivre dans la vérité: Hannah Arendt, lectrice de Kant: indications pour une méditation de l'art. Man and World 21 (4), pp. 433-451.

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