Towards a reconception of the polarity between aesthetics and economics. Introductory remarks




According to the framework of the modern theory of knowledge, after their establishment in the second half of the 18th century as scientific disciplines, aesthetics and economics (and thus the aesthetic and the economic) had to part ways. It was thought that they marked the borderline between useless and useful from a social, ideological, cultural and philosophical-theoretical point of view. In these terms, their relationship has always been polarized into a dichotomy. Such polarity, although long perceived as irreconcilable, today may appear to be fruitful and, as such, deserves to be not only analyzed but also pursued. The peculiarity of this polarity is attested, for example, by the recent series of investigations carried out in various fields making polarity a strength, i.e. a reason for a reconsideration in positive of the relationship between aesthetics and economics. This article aims at understanding what it means to suggest that there could be a reconciliation between them. Does it mean that the aesthetic has laid down its weapons against the economic? Or does it mean that the aesthetic has won over the economic? We will suggest that reconciliation does not necessitate pacification, but it means initiating and keeping alive a dialogue and a confrontation that may entail also sharp contrasts. Reconciliation will be described as something which can mean that two conflicting terms are becoming dialectical polarities within a single overall antinomy, where mutual misrecognition becomes mutual recognition.