Ignorance: Aesthetic Unlearning

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This article proceeds from a consideration of what John Baldacchino calls ‘viable ignorance’, attempting to take leave from the critical and pedagogical obligations of certain elements of Barbara Johnson's ‘positive ignorance’. It considers Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-François Lyotard and the composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen's reflections on modes of experience, and the cultivation of complementary dispositions, where the knowing, egocentric subject is transformed into, or undermined as, what Nietzsche calls ‘a medium of overpowering forces’. The disposition itself is outlined through close readings of key elements of Nietzsche's notebooks, Lyotard's final chapter of Libidinal Economy (1993), and Stockhausen's lecture, ‘Intuitive Music’ (1971) and developed through supplemental practice-as-research activity in sound. The intention of this paper is to explore the space of aesthetic ignorance as committedly as possible, without reverting constantly to positive ignorance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-611
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Philosophy of Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • Aesthetics
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Jean-François Lyotard
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen
  • experience
  • sound

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