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Book by Philosophy Professor Explores the Meaning of Art

Nathan Ross
Philosophy professor Nathan Ross
Philosphy...Experience book cover

An Oklahoma City University philosophy professor recently published a book about aesthetic experience through the scope of two different philosophical movements.

In the book “The Philosophy and Politics of Aesthetic Experience: German Romanticism and Critical Theory,” professor Nathan Ross explores various topics including how art is used in politics. The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Through the two socially significant philosophical movements — early German Romanticism and early critical theory — the book looks at the tradition of German philosophy that extends from Romanticism around 1800 to the work of Jewish resisters to Nazism in the 1930s. The thinkers look at art as a way of helping to critique tyrannical governments and uncover truths.

“In examining the relationship between these two closely intertwined movements, we see that aesthetic experience is not merely a passive response to art―it is the capacity to cultivate true personal autonomy, and to critique the social and political context of our lives,” Ross said.

Tom Huhn, a professor at the New York School of Visual Arts, said the book “is certain to initiate a fundamental shift in our understanding of what is truly at stake in critical theory as well as to convince many more of us of the striking continuities between German Romanticism and critical theory.”

Ross studied at DePaul University and various universities in Germany. He has a deep interest in teaching and researching the history of philosophy, with a special focus on German language philosophy.

His first book, “On Mechanism in Hegel’s Social and Political Philosophy,” was published in 2008. He has published essays in Philosophy Today, The Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal and Epoché. For more information about his latest book, visit the publisher’s website at palgrave.com.

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