|Aesthetica Preprint, 90 (DEcember 2010)
The present study by Salvatore Tedesco (firstname.lastname@example.org) aims to explore some developments of twentieth-century morphologic debates by examining the connections between aesthetics, anthropology, and the philosophy of nature.
The rise of modern aesthetics in the eighteenth century was influenced by the debates on the function of technique vs. art in the modern sense and on the nature and purpose of man, as well as by the increasing development of the life sciences that will lead to the rise of biology. This offered an unprecedented opportunity for the articulation of a science of form, a "morphology" in the sense that Goethe attributed to this term. However, only in the twentieth century will the development of an aesthetic morphology have a crucial impact on the contemporary reorganization of knowledge.
Salvatore Tedesco illustrates his critical thesis by focusing on some key thinkers. He analyzes the final theoretical statements elaborated by Edgar Wind in Germany, he compares them with Viktor von Weizsäcker's articulation of a theoretical model of the unity of nature based on a morphologic approach that is in many ways similar to Wind's, and he connects them with some aspects of evolutionary thought, and especially with the work of Rupert Riedl, who is possibly the most authoritative representantive of contemporary morphologic thought. Finally, the analysis of Riedl’s notions of order and burden (Bürde) enables an interpretation of the relationship and of the differences between anthropological discourse, biologic referent, and aesthetic morphology.