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Art and emancipation: Marcuse and aesthetic dimension in Eros and Civilization

Grant number: 20/02989-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Nathalie de Almeida Bressiani
Grantee:Kadú Leandro Firmino
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


This project aims to investigate the emancipatory potential of the aesthetic dimension as presented by Herbert Marcuse in Eros and Civilization. In this book, Marcuse presents a diagnosis that there is, in the progress of civilization, an increase of repressive subjugation over the pleasure principle by the reality principle, in a polarity in which one principle is tyrannically placed over the other. Aesthetics, therefore, alien to the reality principle, would have the potential to allow the liberation of the pleasure principle from the repressive order, thus making it possible to reconcile these polarities in the psyche that have been accentuated socially and historically by processes of domination and repression. For that, we will start from an analysis of the psychoanalytic notions of pleasure principle and reality principle, as presented by Marcuse, so that we can then look at the concept of performance principle, coined by the author as a form of reality principle particular of capitalist society, and which is distinguished by its historical-social content. (AU)