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Open AccessArticle

Ethical Mimesis and Emergence Aesthetics

University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
Humanities 2019, 8(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020102
Received: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 14 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics and Literary Practice)
In nature the transformation of dead matter (objects) into living matter endowed with green energy or subjectivity is called emergence. Art itself, I argue, is an emergence phenomenon, enacting and replicating in theme and form emergence in nature. Literature thus conceived is about the emergence of spirit. It depicts forces that suppress spirit and enables the spiritual in nature to find expression. It gives voice to spirit rising. Mimesis is thus reconceived as a replication of the natural phenomenon of emergence, which brings to life what has hitherto been seen as object, dead matter. This article outlines the concept of emergence in current philosophical and scientific theories; examines the aesthetic precursors of emergence theory in certain Frankfurt School theorists, notably Theodor Adorno; and applies emergence aesthetic theory to a contemporary novel, Richard Powers’ The Overstory (2018). View Full-Text
Keywords: emergence; aesthetics; mimesis; Adorno emergence; aesthetics; mimesis; Adorno
MDPI and ACS Style

Donovan, J. Ethical Mimesis and Emergence Aesthetics. Humanities 2019, 8, 102.

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