University of Ljubljana – Faculty of Arts
Milan Damnjanović (1924-1994) published his aesthetic opus in the context of (Yugoslav) Marxist “overcoming” (Aufhebung) of aesthetics and of aesthetics’ self-criticism expressed as the “crisis of aesthetics”. To oppose both of these critical positions and at the same time reform aesthetics’ ability to treat all aesthetic phenomena, but still keep art in special focus, he introduced the problem of immediacy of experience of the world by a human being. In his article “The Problem of Immediacy and Mediation in Marx’s Thought” (1970) Damnjanović wanted to demonstrate the primacy of aesthetic dimension in immediacy and immediate mediation/reflection which can support philosophy’s legitimate claim to organize it as an open system, and aesthetics’ solidity as a discipline of such system. To achieve this purpose, he introduced an intertwined argumentation which combines his reading of Marx’s philosophy of labour from Paris Manuscripts and from Capital with Helmut Plessner’s esthesiology and Paul Valery’s esthésique. To revisit Damnjanović’s defence of the Whole, of philosophical systematicity, and of aesthetics’ autonomous position as a discipline is an opportunity to argue that he pointed into the right direction, be it in taking Plessner and Valéry for support, or, in taking fundamental philosophical problem of immediacy/mediation as a foundation stone of the status of aesthetics.
defence of aesthetics, Milan Damnjanović, Helmut Plessner, ethesiology, Marxist aesthetics, immediacy and mediation