Sommersemester 2014

Prof. Gabriel Trop, PhD: HS/OS Subjects of Attraction


Socrates, in Plato's dialogue Ion, compares the work of art to a magnet, one whose attraction overwhelms the ability of viewers, listeners, or readers to use their reason, to reflect, or to give an account of themselves. For Socrates, the attractive power of the experience of poetic performance and reception—the fact that it draws an audience into its imaginative landscape and holds them entranced in this space—constitutes both art's greatest strength as well as its greatest danger. This conception of the work of art as a space of attraction that overwhelms the capacity to think forms a thread that runs throughout the Western history of art and opens up onto important issues of aesthetics: From where does the work of art derive this power of overwhelming attraction? When does the work of art merely disable reflection, and when does it provide alternative forms of cognitive agency, generating the possibility for different channels of thought and styles of thinking? In what instances can the work of art, through this power of attraction, reconfigure social norms and values? And what sort of subject does the attractive power of art “interpellate”? By putting in dialogue ancient and modern thinkers, we will investigate the way in which aesthetic attraction challenges and forces us to rethink conceptions of subjectivity and selfhood.


Seinen Aufenthalt in Tübingen versteht Professor Trop als Beitrag zur interkulturellen Verständigung sowie zum internationalen Forschungsdialog. Lesen Sie hierzu den Artikel Teach@Tübingen-Gast: Der Germanist Gabriel Trop aus den USA.