Aesthetics of Resistance

Zur Politik ästhetischen Denkens

The concept of resistance plays an important role in critical theories of society. The latter do not adopt a neutral stance on their subject matter, but instead show solidarity with emancipatory social and political resistance. Does this mean that critical theories are themselves in a certain sense resistant? Or to put the question differently: Under what conditions can the thinking of critical theories become resistant? My dissertation argues that thinking requires an aesthetic moment if it is to engage in resistance. I examine what this resistant aesthetic moment involves by contrasting Hegel’s dialectical philosophy, especially his lectures on aesthetics, with Peter Weiss’s aesthetics of resistance.