Goethe's Writings on Aesthetics and the Epistemic Transformations in the Late 18th and Early 19th Century

Project Description

The aim of the project is to investigate the role of Goethe's writings on aesthetics in the profound epistemic, philosophical, aesthetic, and scientific transformations during the so-called "Age of Goethe". Focusing on the concept of aesthetic experience, the project aims at defining the limits of the aesthetic, by internally demarcating the border between aesthetic and non- aesthetic discourses. Rather than articulating a set of aesthetic doctrines, which in the case of Goethe, due to his notorious particularism, is difficult, it analyses the continuous displacements of discursive borders and how the aesthetic discourse continuously needs to be renegotiated. As a result, the unstable delimitation of the aesthetic denotes an internal aesthetic heteronomy, this project shows.

(Illustration: Goethe 1779 by Heinrich Lips (public domain from Wikimedia Commons))

About the Project

Project Duration



The project is financed by The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet).