Strands of an argument:

There is no horizon to the social.

The social does not have its basis in individual experience.

There is never any sense of a contract being signed.

If there are effects of individuation and rational agreement then they emerge from the social itself.

The social is not a rationally established entity and it is not dependent on rational legitimation.

The basis of the social is elusive because it is always already there. Even to consider the social depends upon socialisation.

Experience itself is social, however solitary its forms.

Solitariness cannot escape a social basis and inevitably engages in dialogue with the social.

Experience is mechanically decomposed into individualised features – the senses, inner emotional life, etc., but does this adequately capture how much of individual life is given in the relation between people? Think of the sense of touch. It is not only as a single body that I touch. I have been touched before I had any sense of individual identity. I am touched even when unconscious.

Enlightenment aesthetics places the emphasis on the individual sense of the beautiful (and the sublime), which then serves as a means of reconciliation between the universal and the particular, understanding and experience, etc. This demonstrates a wider commitment to the notion of society as an amalgam of discrete individual atoms – as a supplementary phenomenon, rather than as a constitutive state and force. But so much of aesthetic experience (broadly conceived) occurs in groups (ritual events, etc.)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *