By John Fekete
Lifestyles After Postmodernism is a pioneering textual content at the query of price within the postmodern scene. After an extended hiatus within which discussions of worth were eclipsed via dying of the topic in post-structuralist conception, this choice of essays recommend that we're at the threshold of a brand new price debate in modern politics, aesthetics, and society.
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Additional info for Life After Postmodernism: Essays on Value and Culture
2 Such an account bears, of course, on the question of the truth-value of aesthetic judgments, but not only such judgments; for, by this account, the value not only of any artwork or other object but that of any utterance is also contingent, and aesthetic judgments (in the sense here of overt verbal evaluations of artworks) are no different in this respect from any other type of utterance, including so-called factual or scientific statements. I shall begin with a few general observations on value which, though a bit stark as presented here, will serve to introduce certain themes that recur in the subsequent discussion.
Hence the familiar disclaimer commonly attached to such works (here, an obviously somewhat, but not altogether, disingenuous one): Note that we have no ties to manufacturers or retailers, we accept no advertising, and we’re not interested in selling products. g. a new film opening in Philadelphia or an altar painting to be seen in Palermo) will be appropriable by that group of readers, the evaluator will, of course, typically sample it for himself or herself, operating as a stand-in for those readers or, we might say, as their metonymic representative, and, to that end, will typically be attentive to the particular contingencies of which the value of objects of that kind appears to be a function for people of that kind.
Indeed, we may grant more generally that any evaluation, aesthetic or otherwise, will be shaped by the speaker’s own interests, both as a party to the verbal transaction in which the evaluation figures and in other ways as well. It may also be granted that, since value is especially subject-variable for certain classes of objects, among them artworks, the appropriability of value judgments of such objects may be correspondingly highly subject-variable. For these reasons, that is, because we do tend to learn that there is no such thing as an honest opinion and that one man’s meat is the other’s poison, we typically supplement and discount the value judgments we are offered “in the light,” as we say, of knowledge we have from other sources: knowledge, for example, of the reviewer’s personal and perhaps idiosyncratic preferences, or the connoisseur’s special interests or obligations and thus suspect or clearly compromised motives.
Life After Postmodernism: Essays on Value and Culture by John Fekete