Subscribe to our newsletter
Picture of Art and the Platonic Matrix

Art and the Platonic Matrix

Author(s): Jürgen Lawrenz

Book Description

For two millennia philosophy has restlessly stalked a fundamental problem—the answer to the question “what is art, really?” Aesthetic discourse, focused on the Platonic Matrix of truth and beauty, arthood and object, imitation and representation, form and idea, has not delivered on its promise, leaving us in bewilderment over principles that are either ignored or contradicted by the arts themselves. In this searching critique, some astonishing faux pas are brought to light. Notably that aesthetics makes do without a knower, the heuristics of art, and the dynamics of self-exploration that are central to the aesthetic experience.

What this book seeks to accomplish is a thorough reformulation of the terms of reference, based on the actual “form of life” that is art. This amounts to a framework for a wholly new philosophy of art. It demonstrates that art is quintessentially involved in the meaning of life, and through its heuristic dimension serves our impulse for self-knowledge and an understanding of the human condition.

The book is in the first instance a philosophical treatise and therefore suitable for academic study in all grades, though perhaps with greatest benefit at post-graduate level. But it has been written in an approachable style to encourage a wider audience to engage with its tenets: accordingly it seeks also to address art aficionados, whether professional or dilettante, as well as general readers with an interest in these ever perplexing and profoundly intriguing issues of our human estate.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2853-6
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2853-X
Date of Publication: 01/04/2011
Pages / Size: 290 / A5
Price: £39.99


Jürgen Lawrenz received his first class honours BA and MA, and a PhD from Sydney University. He has taught at Sydney University, Schools of Art and in Adult Education. His most recent publications include a prize-winning essay on Hegel’s politics, as well as papers and books on metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of mind. He is currently translating a major work by Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy. His pioneering study of the German philosopher Leibniz was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.