By Richard Howells (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design
In my thinking, however, this optimism is not just about the ‘will’ (which can have all sorts of negative connotations); it is more about hope and aspiration. This leads us to Bloch, and the principle not of will, but of hope. ’ It is now time fully to introduce Bloch, who is both our most important and difficult Utopian thinker. He is in equal measure impossible and indispensable. A Marxian expressionist on the edge of metaphysics, he persuades us that Utopia, the prospect of a real and better world that is yet to come, is encoded in our art, literature and popular culture.
1 The Amish descend from the German Anabaptists and are named after their founder, Jacob Amann. They arrived in Pennsylvania during the colonial period and still live, to lesser or greater extents, separate lives from that which surrounds them. They aim to be, as John A. 2 Contemporary (c. 2004) Amish centre diamond quilt in wool, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania bed-covers. 2). ’4 What is intriguing here (and this is the beginning of a vital theme) is the amount of time, effort and skill the Amish put into endowing their quilts with aesthetic features which in no way improve their practical facility as economical bed coverings.
This in turn involves 24 A Critical Theory of Creativity the ability to ignore the realities of experience and common sense. 77 This is all hardhitting and rhetorical stuff, but two things need to be said here. First, Ernst Bloch (whose philosophy underpins this book, and to whom I turn in depth in the following chapter) insisted upon educated hope and not the naïve, undiscriminating hope that Scruton (mis)understands as the life-blood of Utopianism. Second, the naïve, need-based, unquestioning hope in the face of experience, reason and refutation is a feature (as I shall argue later) not of Utopia but of religion.
A Critical Theory of Creativity: Utopia, Aesthetics, Atheism and Design by Richard Howells (auth.)