The pretense of an economic cosmos and the aesthetic sense: some reflections on “spontaneous orders”


Artistic capitalism
Spontaneous order
Kant and Hayek


This essay claims that the recent literature about “artistic capitalism” mostly overlooks the twin roots of aesthetics and economics, particularly in its neoliberal version. By comparing some of Immanuel Kant’s main theses about aesthetic experience and artistic practices with Friedrich Hayek’s deep intuitions about the market as “spontaneous order”, it aims at identifying the theoretical locus where philosophical aesthetics and neoliberal theory reach their highest degree of intimacy and, at the same time, may depart from each other. It attempts to expose the equivocal roots they have in common, which can shed light on their twin paths, their conflicts, but also their de facto subsequent intertwining.