6 - Knowledge Acquisition: An Aesthetic Form  pp. 169-188

Knowledge Acquisition: An Aesthetic Form

By Yvonne Sherratt

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INTRODUCTION

In this chapter we develop the idea of an aesthetic kind of knowledge acquisition. We develop this from the notion of absorption.

First we extend the notion of aura to encompass Objects beyond the mere work of art. We thereby also can extend the concept of absorption to encompass the Subject's engagement with Objects beyond the mere work of art. Second, we examine Adorno's notion of knowledge acquisition. As we have seen in Chapter 3, Adorno's notion of what constitutes knowledge acquisition, is an act of engagement between the Subject and the Object which consists of two features. From his Hegelian inheritance, knowledge consists of an act of identification which occurs through the representative system. Through providing an account of absorption as identification and representation we arrive at our aesthetic kind of knowledge acquisition.

AURATIC OBJECTS

Before beginning our discussion of the ways in which absorption may be a form of knowledge acquisition, it is important to make the point that absorption is a form of engagement with the Object that is not simply limited to works of art. As it is aura that evokes absorption, to show the extended relevance of absorption, we need to show that aura can be a property of Objects beyond works of art.

In Aesthetic Theory Adorno claims, following Benjamin, that aura can indeed be found in Objects more generally.

6

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