In Search of a Hero
In the “Epilogue” to the “Origin of the Work of Art” Heidegger asks us to consider Hegel’s claim that for us moderns art in its highest sense is a thing of the past. As Heidegger recognizes, the world we live in invites us to take what, appealing to Baumgarten and Kant, we can call an aesthetic approach to art. Such an approach has to deny art what Hegel considers its highest task. Art and truth are now divorced. Art comes to be understood as not so much for reality’s, as for art’s sake. In “The Origin of the Work of Art” Heidegger insists on a more intimate connection between truth and art: challenging Plato, Heidegger would like to call the poets back into the Republic; challenging Hegel, he would like to count art once more “as the highest manner in which truth obtains existence for itself.” To do so, he has to challenge the understanding of truth that presides over our modern world.
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