Foto del docente

Giovanni Matteucci

Full Professor

Department of Philosophy

Academic discipline: M-FIL/04 Aesthetics

Head of Department of Philosophy


Keywords: aesthetics anthropology structures of experience phenomenology contemporary art theory of perception Everyday Aesthetics

Main Research Fields

 - Phenomenology of Perception and Phenomenological Aesthetics

- Analytic and Pragmatist Aesthetics

- Aesthetic Perspectives of contemporary theories of mind

- Frankfurt Critical Theory

- Philosophy of Fashion and Theories about Aestheticization

- Everyday Aesthetics

Description of the Research

Moving from the study of some philosophical perspectives that had been marginalized during the 20th century by mainstream philosophy, in my early researches I have examined some questions concerning the concepts of form, symbol and sense.

These issues have been initially investigated in the philosophy of Dilthey and his school (Misch, Lipps, König). The main outcomes of these researches, developed during my doctoral and postdoctoral studies, were several lectures and articles, the translations of some important works of Dilthey, and three monographs in Italian and German.

After this phase I opened up my studies to new directions. Among the new cornerstones of my investigations I would mention Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms, the tradition of German philosophical anthropology (Plessner, Gehlen), Dewey’s pragmatism understood as a kind of anthropological philosophy, Frankfurt critical theory (with a particular attention paid to Adorno’s aesthetics), and some recent developments in analytic and post-analytic philosophy. Even in this case my researches have produced such outcomes as book (as translator, author and editor), participation to national and international conferences both as keynote speaker and as discussant, and many articles in Italian and other languages. The general aim underlying such investigations of different philosophers and currents of thought was that of identifying and making explicit the possible basis for an anthropological approach to sensibility, perception and aesthetic objects.

On a historical-philosophical level, this led me to study and, as it were, rehabilitate some moments of a “minor”, less known, and often misunderstood or misplaced matrix of modern aesthetics (exemplified by the works of such authors as Vico, Du Bos, Herder) that, although tacitly, contributed to the latter’s birth and development. On a strictly theoretical level, the philosophical horizon into which these investigations must be contextualized is that of the attempt to develop an account of the aesthetic dimension of sense on the basis of a critical approach capable to combine a phenomenology of perceptual processes, an analysis of the grammars of creativity, and an interpretation of the pragmatic reality of art and the aesthetic. Special attention has been paid both to calling into question the representational and denotative function of the work of art and to highlighting the expressive nature of the aesthetic dimension as a form of life, thus promoting a shift to an exam of the way in which the domain of perception and that of language merge in the formulation of judgments and in the development of critical discourses concerning phenomena based on the interplay between expressive, emotive and cognitive factors.

Moving from the same theoretical horizon but also attempting to develop it in new directions, in the last years I broadened my research areas in order to include phenomena of widespread aestheticization of life, such as those investigated by everyday aesthetics and the philosophy of fashion. The philosophical concept from which I have attempted to inquire into these phenomena is that of the aesthetic understood as a “relational field” according to the extended mind model.