First collected in Italy in 1985, Art's Claim to Truth is considered by many philosophers to be one of Gianni Vattimo's most important works. Newly revised for English readers, the book begins with a challenge to Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel, who viewed art as a metaphysical aspect of reality rather than a futuristic anticipation of it. Following Martin Heidegger's interpretation of the history of philosophy, Vattimo outlines the existential ontological conditions of aesthetics, paying particular attention to the works of Kandinsky, which reaffirm the ontological implications of art.
Vattimo then builds on Hans-Georg Gadamer's theory of aesthetics and provides an alternative to a rationalistic-positivistic criticism of art. This is the heart of Vattimo's argument, and with it he demonstrates how hermeneutical philosophy reaffirms art's ontological status and makes clear the importance of hermeneutics for aesthetic studies. In the book's final section, Vattimo articulates the consequences of reclaiming the ontological status of aesthetics without its metaphysical implications, holding Aristotle's concept of beauty responsible for the dissolution of metaphysics itself. In its direct engagement with the works of Gadamer, Heidegger, and Luigi Pareyson, Art's Claim to Truth offers a better understanding of the work of Vattimo and a deeper knowledge of ontology, hermeneutics, and the philosophical examination of truth.
Art's Claim to Truth offers much to work with with in the field of contemporary aesthetics.
Introduction: The Hermeneutic Consequence of Art's Ontological Bearing, by Santiago Zabala
Part I. Aesthetics
1. Beauty and Being in Ancient Aesthetics
2. Toward an Ontological Aesthetics
3. The Ontological Vocation of Twentieth-Century Poetics
4. Art, Feeling, and Originality in Heidegger's Aesthetics
Part II. Hermeneutics
5. Pareyson: From Aesthetics to Ontology
6. From Phenomenological Aesthetics to Ontology of Art
7. Critical Methods and Hermeneutic Philosophy
Part III. Truth
8. Aesthetics and Hermeneutics
9. Aesthetics and Hermeneutics in Hans-Georg Gadamer
10. The Work of Art as the Setting to Work of Truth
11. The Truth That Hurts