Beyond Speculation

Jean-Marie Schaeffer

Translated by Dafydd Roberts


5 x 8.5 inches, 372pp. March 2015

ISBN : 9780857420428

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In his well-known work of art criticism, Art of the Modern Age, Jean-Marie Schaeffer offered a lucid and powerful critique of what he identified as the historically dominant thinking about art and aesthetics, from the Jena Roman- tics, to Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno and beyond, which he termed ‘the speculative theory of art’. Here, in Beyond Speculation, Schaeffer builds from this significant work, rejecting not only the identification of the aesthetic with the work of art, but also the Kantian association of the aesthetic with subjectively universal judgment. In his analysis of aesthetic relations, he opens up a space for a theory of art that is free of historicism and capable of engaging with noncanonical and non-Western arts.


By engaging with the ideas of Arthur Danto, Gérard Genette, Nelson Good- man, George Dickie and Rainer Rochlitz, and evoking a range of aesthetic experience from Proust to King Kong to Japanese temple design, Beyond Speculation makes an original and engaging contribution to the development of the philosophy of culture. 

Jean-Marie Schaeffer is a philosopher of art and aesthetics. He is a researcher at Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the director of studies at the L' École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris. He has written several books, the best known of which is Art of the Modern Age: Philosophy of Art from Kant to Heidegger (1992). 


Dafydd Roberts is a translator from French and German, mainly in the fields of art, architecture and cultural history. He has translated catalogues and guides for many French and German galleries and museums, and for the past decade has been principal translator into English for the Centre Georges Pompidou. His translations include books and essays by Chantal Béret, Didier Ottinger, Michel Serres, Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. He lives in London.

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