Thinking at the Edge. Hegel & Nietzschie


the death of Art

the death of design

the death of the author

and the death of the human being.

What is Philosophy? 3separate things.

1. Metaphysics, (including personal beliefs)

2. an Academic subject, a history: Ancient, Medieval, Modern.

A Canon of authors: Plato, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Solcrates, Flüsser, Nietzsche …

areas of enquiry: aesthetics, epistemology, moral, political

in the West since C20: analytical and continental.

3. Questioning, Critical thinking, argument and discussion.

“To see something as art requires something the eye cannot describe- an atmosphere of artistic theory, a knowledge of the history of art: an Artworld.”

-A.C. Danto (1970) “the artworld” pp429.

We’ve been looking at the differing philosophies of Hegel and Nietzsche. Looking at the relationships between the Ideal and the Sensuous in art and design. It’s creative freedom over practicality.

Hegel would say that there are 3 fields of artwork: Symbolic Classical and romantic. That we are in a state of becoming to reach a goal of the ultimate being.

“Artwork is the sensuous display of the mind’s relationship with external reality; it is material substance that has been imbued with mind.”


Comparisons between the Poetry of the imagination, and the Prose of thought.

Unifying the spiritual sense of being to the physical sense of being.

I feel like Hegel revels in the theory that there might be a higher order to the world and that things have many different boundaries, yet, I feel that by unifying the two realms of the imagination and reality together when it comes to art might have some restrictions to it. I feel this way because some things might not be able to be accurately articulated/transferred from a feeling of the of the imagination into the physical realm, and if it does, then it will differ greatly depending on each person who might interpret things differently to one another. In this sense, I can see how this could create a diverse range of artwork for the viewer to immerse themselves in, viewing different interpretation of that which can only exist within our mind and not be manifested in a true form in the real world.

Nietzsche would argue that there should be no distinction between representation and reality. That we are in a constant state of becoming, with no end point, no pedestal to reach. Just a great big wave of change that we have to either ride forever, of fall and die. That the only constant is Change. There is no sense of a fixed being, and we’re in a constant transition. Transformation, and the material of knowledge  e.g: Writing and design or art and technology. The end of isolated concepts.

Nietzsche’s approach seems very attractive because it allows for a better sense of freedom with the end of isolated concepts, that representation and reality should have no divide between them. Imagination, should become reality. this leaves abit of a problem for me because some things may be ultimately unrealistic and could only lead to dire outcomes, but thats only as nuclear fusion and cancer research is concerned. As far as Art and design are concerned I feel like it is completely liberating. thinking that there is no ultimate end point to reach leave room for nothing but development. We’re going to keep getting better, or worse depending on what we do. but if it gets worse, it can only get better and vice-versa. if the only constant can be change, then we have no way of telling whats going to happen, so we might as well not worry and do nothing else but grow and better ourselves and living beings.


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