Philosophical Alternatives 3/2019

Issue editor: Ivanka Stapova
CONTENTS & Abstracts &Keywords

Ivan Stefanov – From Concretization to Socialization of the Work of Art
: Тhe main thesis of this article is that the perception of a work of art involves a dual process. On the one hand, there is a process of “descending” to a free subjective interpretation of the artistic meaning of the work; on the other hand, and in parallel, there is a contrary process of “ascending” to a real objectivity, i.e., to a social conclusion, more or less conforming to the beliefs and criteria that come from current or historical time. The subjective whims of individual concretization are correctеd and placed within certain socio-cultural frames through the mediation of what sociology of art defines as internal and external mediators.
Keywords: Kant; Ingarden; Benjamin; Lotman; Heinich; phenomenological aesthetics; concreteness; socialization; intention; mediators.

Emil Dimitrov – “Beauty Will Save the World”: The Formula and Its Meaning
: The article presents a many-sided analysis of the famous phrase in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, “Beauty will save the world”. Presented here in the context of the Schillerian influences during Dostoyevsky's youth, its originality is demonstrated. The article carefully examines the appearance of the phrase in the text of the novel, its relation to Prince Myshkin, and its later destiny, whereby it has become a stable formula with different emphases from those in the novel. In the context of the main theme of The Idiot, beauty is conceived ontologically, personalistically, and mystically: it is embodied in the God-man Christ, and as such is a transformative holy force. For Dostoyevsky, beauty saves because it is another word for God. Outside Christ, beauty can be only human, and hence is inevitably situation along the axis of good and evil.
Keywords: beauty; Schiller; Christ; salvation; dividedness.

Iskra Tsoneva
– The Accusing Power of a Paradoxical Unity of Voice
: The Accusing Power of a Paradoxical Unity of Voice Jonathan Littell's novel The Kindly Ones, written in French, is a story about World War II and the Eastern Front, presented through the fictional memoirs of a sophisticated SS officer. The main aim of the article is to show how, by a radical rejection of the method of polyglossia, characteristic of narrative in the traditional novel, Littell merges his voice with the voice of his criminal hero, who accuses everyone – participants and witnesses alike, all of us.
Keywords: anti-Semitism; criminality; polyglossia; heteroglossia

Emanuela Yaneva – The Aesthetic State and Emancipation. Notes on the Conclusion of Friedrich Schiller's Project
: The text dwells on Schiller's aesthetical project as an emancipatory and focuses on the projects' conclusion. The emancipatory discourse unfolds by the disclosure of multilayered oppositions that have led to a sort of disruption which determines the problematic conclusion of the promised transition to political freedom achieved through art. The concepts of aesthetic state and beauty in appearance are viewed as both central to the issue under discussion and as leading to the broader discussion on the relationship between art and reality. The text dwells on Schiller's aesthetical project as an emancipatory and focuses on the projects' conclusion. The emancipatory discourse unfolds by the disclosure of multilayered oppositions that have led to a sort of disruption which determines the problematic conclusion of the promised transition to political freedom achieved through art. The concepts of aesthetic state and beauty in appearance are viewed as both central to the issue under discussion and as leading to the broader discussion on the relationship between art and reality.
Keywords: aesthetic state; beauty in appearance; Friedrich Schiller; emancipation; aesthetical project; aesthetical education; reality.


Lachezar Antonov – The Conceptualization of Reality as an Aesthetic Construction in the Works of Wolfgang Welsch
: The article discusses the question of the growing aestheticization of everyday social and material reality, and in particular, the German philosopher Wolfgang Welsch's reflections on this issue, presented in three of his essays in which he links problems of aesthetics to the global change in ways of perceiving and experiencing reality in contemporary hedonistic and mediatized culture. The article attempts an analytical reconstruction of the main aspects of the thesis regarding the aesthetic modelling of reality in present-day consumer societies, as well as of the relation of that thesis to Welsch's theory of “Aesthetics beyond Aesthetics”.
Keywords: aestheticization process; aestheticized reality; Wolfgang Welsch. .

Miroslava Hristoskova – Michel Foucault's Aesthetics of Existence
: Michel Foucault's aesthetics of existence interweaves several themes: a concept of ethics as a form of relation towards oneself, care for the self, the idea of shaping life into a work of art, and the intention to create new modalities of subjectivity. This is an attempt to recreate an ethics and aesthetics of self. The subject here is determined by relation to oneself, not by a rule or a code. Foucault's thinking is a way of answering the question of becoming oneself, but the answer differs from that of the Platonic and Christian models. In the model elaborated in the culture of the self, the significance of which Foucault supports, the leading factor is ethical work. The latter ensures the reshaping of the subject through practices of the self. Here, care for the self is a main form that encompasses the art of living. It is a form of life that leads to the transformation of self in accordance with the truth. Foucault's aesthetics is ethics, and ethics is related to politics. Their framework is the fundamental problem of the relation between subjectivity and truth. The question of the constitution of subjectivity is related to that of the production of truth. Subjectification conceptualizes this form of subjection, where the subject is objectified in a truthful discourse. Another way of constituting the subject is through processes of subjectivation, seen as practices of freedom. The theoretical focus is on the possibility of creating new modalities of subjectivity through the processes of subjectification.
Keywords: subjectivity; truth; self-knowledge; techne tou biou; care of the self; analytics of power.

Ahinora Antova – Truth and Instants, or, On the Essence of Art according to Heidegger and Benjamin
: The article discusses the two key works of modern aesthetics – Martin Heidegger's The Origin of the Work of Art (1935/1936) and Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility (1936). The article offers a comparative analysis based on analogies between the Eurocentric philosophical background of the two authors and their direct or indirect references to the Asian way of thinking. I examine the content of the two works in order to emphasize Heidegger's ontological perspective in comparison with the empirical-historical character of Benjamin's media theory, and then go on to indicate concrete similarities between Heidegger's and Benjamin's understanding of art, as well as between haiku-poetry and photography as one of the most typical forms of modern art.
Keywords: apperception; the work of art; haiku; photography.

Miglena Marinova – Dehumanized Man against Dehumanized Art
: The author explores Ortega-y-Gasset's contradictory attitude to modern art. As a possible reason for this ambivalence, we propose the assumption that, lying at the foundation of modern art is the same impulse that leads to the emergence and domination of “mass-man”. We consider Ortega's interest in aesthetic issues as a way of exploring the unique transformation of the self-assertive hermetic vitality that Modernity experiences. The text focuses not on the purely aesthetic features of modern art, but on its ability to move beyond the boundaries of aesthetics in general, and the consequences of this movement. We claim that dehumanization is a historically determined means of derealization and that the path modern art chooses to return to its ontological essence is indicative of the spirit of the age in general.
Keywords: Josе Ortega-i Gasset; art; mass-man; vitality; dehumanization; derealization.

Niklas Luhmann – The Differentiation of Art. The Autonomy of Art
: In the following two texts, Niklas Luhmann discusses the emergence and the differentiation of art as a social system. This process begins during the Renaissance and reaches its full-scale development with Romanticism, around the end of the 18th century. Of central importance is Luhmann's account of communication, understood as behavior coordinated by symbolically generalized social codes. The German sociologist analyzes how the system of art functions today and criticizes the meaning that the concepts of “artist” and “spectator” have acquired in the Modern Age.
Keywords: sociology of art; system theory; art history; Niklas Luhmann.

Walter Benjamin – Dream Kitsch
: The short essay “Dream Kitsch” (“Traumkitsch”) is a controversial comment by Walter Benjamin on surrealism, which the author sees as the “last snapshot of the European intelligentsia”, as a crisis of art that aims to mobilize dreaming and thereby risks missing the essence of things and turning them into kitsch.
Keywords: Benjamin; surrealism; dreams; world of things; the banal; kitsch.

Sylvia Borisova
– Aestheticization of Emotions in Art
: The article proposes a philosophic-aesthetic schematization of the correlation between the notions of “the aesthetic in experience” and “aesthetic experience”; this serves as a starting point for the conceptual differentiation of the aesthetic in emotions, and hence, of the types of aestheticization of emotions in art: those of the creators, of the performers and of the recipients of art.
Keywords: the aesthetic in experience; aesthetic experience; aestheticization of emotions in art; Dewey; Kandinsky; Breton.

Galin Penev – A Concept of Prototype in The Dialectics of Artistic Form
: The article considers how prototype is established through a dialectical construction of artistic form. The conception of prototype is presented through a long dialectical examination of the relation between subjective sense and its material counterpart as a topos of symbolic being. The prototype is a regulative ideal pattern of maximum expression in artistic form. The image and its prototype establish each other simultaneously. In artistic experience, we encounter a phenomenon of correspondence. Losev presented a detailed structure of likeness in image, and showed how it involves the disclosure of the prototype.
Keywords: art form; prototype; dialectics; eidos; myth; expression.
Silvia Petrova – Magic Mirrors with An Augmented Reality: The Aesthetic Game with One's Own Body
Abstract: The article traces some aspects of the impact of augmented reality technology on the perception of the mirror image in the media context. The study is focused on so-called magic (or smart) mirrors, which can be interpreted as a new stage in the cultural evolution of the mastering of our reflection. With new magic mirrors, the screen of mobile devices functions as a mirror with a utopian function – it allows a continuous improvement of the image in search of perfect beauty. In this sense, the body (and also the world) is perceived as an endless field for aesthetic experimentation.
Keywords: augmented reality; mirror; mass culture; new technologies; lifestyle; social media; mass media; cultural studies.

Vyara Popova – The Myth of Odysseus as a Form of the Myth of Eternal Return
: The article reviews the myth of Odysseus in literature: Homer's Odyssey, Joyce's Ulysses, and Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Ulysses from Baghdad. From Mircea Eliade's cultural interpretation of the myth of Odysseus, the article goes on to K. Jung's interpretation of Odysseus as a trickster. From the general cultural and psychoanalytic profile of Odysseus as man returning “home”, to “his roots”, to the authentic self, complemented by the option of travel as a transformation, in which one becomes oneself as other, the article goes on to considering the “return to oneself” as an augmented and expanded other, although still oneself, and to the metaphorical perspective on the myth. And hence, “return to oneself” is viewed as repetition enhanced by the inclusion of difference: in this way, the idea is unconsciously advanced that the myth of Odysseus, as a metaphor of “the return to oneself as other” is analogous, on a highly theoretical level, with “the myth of eternal return”. The myth of eternal return is presented through the optics of: Nietzsche; Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche' “eternal return”; Deleuze's interpretation of the latter, which demonstrates as justified the hypothesis that the myth of Odysseus is a form of the myth of eternal return, whereby the hypothesis becomes a thesis.
Keywords: the myth of Odysseus; the myth of eternal return; linear time; third time; identity and difference.
Lachezar Antonov – The Shift from a One-dimensional to a Multi-dimensional Comprehension of the (In)Human in the Literary-anthropological Perspective

Ivanka Stapova – Quiet and Silence in the Focus of Aesthetics

Nonka Bogomilova – On Krasimir Delchev's Philosophy of History

Silvia Borisova – Аisthetikos: A Conference on Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art in Memory of Isak Pasi