This discussion has grown tentacles embracing multiple comments and several blogs. The following is a comment by Graham Harman of Object-Oriented Philosophy
Levi with ANOTHER GOOD PIECE, (from Larval Subjects) this one on the relation between aesthetics and ontology.
Aesthetics has long been treated as a fringe discipline of philosophy, a moderately respectable diversion for the aesthetes in our midst. But I like Santayana’s point that considerations of beauty play an overwhelming role in our day-to-day lives, despite being only a minor part of philosophy.
My own sense is that aesthetics perhaps deserves to be the central philosophical discipline. (Perhaps Levi didn’t mean to go quite that far, but I am happy to go that far.) I’ve already claimed in print that aesthetic phenomena and physical causation are first cousins, even though they lie on two opposite sides of the great divide created by modern philosophy (”subject” and “world”). I’ll continue to push this idea further in writings to come.
I've long felt that the central aesthetic problem for any artist, as opposed to the concerns of the critic, is the question of Being; why my emphasis on the Aesthectis of Process.
I think of the women... and I do think of them as women, deep in those caves of Spain and Southern France while the men were out hunting--drawing those extradordinary images of bison, elk, bears and mammoths (while having a bit of fun doing cartoon stick figures of their men (with erections, no less, as they did their manly business!)--what else were they doing, if not bodying forth the question of Being?
Why I find nothing could be more natural than Bryant's images from art and science to illustrate
his thinking. Reading Difference and Givenness, I wished he could have formated it more like Larval Subjects. Why can't a book of philosophy have illustrations... even CD's! "Here, when you have read this chapter... listen to Glen Gould playing the Goldberg Variations! And after this one--get in your car, open the windows, and put on Bob Marley!
I bet Nietzsche would have gone for it!