Art at the Limits of Perception

The Aesthetic Theory of Wolfgang Welsch

by Jerome Carroll (Author)
©2006 Monographs 286 Pages


This book traces the significance that the modulations of sensory perception have had for thinking about aesthetics and art in the last two and a half centuries. Beyond a discussion of the philosophical significance of beauty, or of the puzzle of aesthetic representation, aesthetics is conceived broadly as a means of describing our relationship to the world in terms of the habits of perception, and indeed the overturning of these habits, as in the modernist aesthetic of defamiliarisation. In the light of the ideas of the contemporary German aesthetic theorist, Wolfgang Welsch, this book offers the first discussion of the theory and practice of art that operates at the poles of perception: sensory experience that exceeds conceptual organisation, and the imperceptible, or what Welsch calls the ‘anaesthetic’. These seemingly opposite poles have many parallels: a comparable indeterminacy of meaning and a similar challenge to representation, but also a shared focus on the habits and modulations of sensory perception and a similar interrogation of the boundary between art and that which surrounds it. The author applies the categories discussed to art practice, in particular to the theatre of Peter Handke, Samuel Beckett and Heiner Müller.


ISBN (Softcover)
Welsch, Wolfgang (Philosoph) Ästhetik Aesthetics Philosophy Perception Sensory Welsch Art
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2006. 286 pp.

Biographical notes

Jerome Carroll (Author)

The Author: Jerome Carroll received his Ph.D. in German from the University of Nottingham in 2004. Since then he has been a lecturer in German at Royal Holloway, University of London.


Title: Art at the Limits of Perception