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Art and Truth after Plato$
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Tom Rockmore

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226040028

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226040165.001.0001

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Marx, Marxism, and Aesthetic Realism

Marx, Marxism, and Aesthetic Realism

(p.194) Chapter Six Marx, Marxism, and Aesthetic Realism
Art and Truth after Plato

Tom Rockmore

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses Marxist aesthetics and the reasons behind its being one of the liveliest and most interesting of all the many Marxist themes. Major themes in Marxist aesthetics include aesthetic realism, art as ideology, and the relation of aesthetics and politics. It is further an important source of the anti-Platonic argument for art as a source of truth. Yet after the breakup of the Soviet Union starting in 1989, leading to a widespread turn away from Marx and Marxism, interest in Marxist aesthetics sharply declined in the West. Throughout the Middle Ages no wide-ranging philosophical effort of any kind was ever undertaken to justify artistic claims to knowledge. Such claims were simply assumed to be correct as the theological basis of a series of Christian analyses of beauty firmly rooted in religious faith. In Marxism a postreligious political faith arguably takes the place earlier occupied by religion.

Keywords:   Marxist aesthetics, aesthetic realism, ideology, politics, anti-Platonic argument, Marx, Marxism

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