This is the 18th volume in the "Aesthetics Lexicon" series inaugurated in 1995 under the direction of Remo Bodei. The series includes three sections respectively dedicated to the arts, the history of aesthetics, and its key concepts. This new entry on the aesthetics of objects is part of the section on the arts, which already includes volumes by Fubini on music, Masiero on architecture, and Pezzella on motion pictures. In a world that has become a huge experiment in product placement, objects and things - not unlike phenomena and events - increasingly tend to resemble each other in a diffuse aesthetic dimension, in which content-rich values, typical of modernity, are progressively replaced by formal and showy elements, characteristic of post-modern ideology. By drawing philosophy away from the abstract and closer to the concrete, the author analyses a selection of familiar objects from everyday life - a chair, a table, a window - and highlights post-modernity's responsibility in the transformation - not only in perceptual, but also political and ideal terms - of our relationship with reality.
Ernesto L. Francalanci teaches History of Contemporary Art at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice.