Ethics and aesthetics are not the same thing, despite Wittgenstein’s suggestion of the opposite. For the past century, at least, we have seen ample proof of the divergence between the two. However, following these ideas historically, we find an intensity of relationships which shows that ethics and aesthetics, although distinct, are indeed of the same thing. In the realm of architecture particularly, the possibility that a building’s appearance and aesthetic considerations could be dissociated from its purpose and ‘ethical function’ would be increasingly hard to conceive the farther back we go.
Conceivable as it might be today, this paper will argue that it is nevertheless problematic and that most of what plagues contemporary practice arises out of the apparent emancipation of the two. This paper will offer brief forays into etymology, history, philosophy and some recent buildings, to argue the necessity of this partnership for contemporary architecture and its continuing cultural relevance. The paper aims to address most of the questions raised in the call for papers, but will primarily deal with what constitutes ‘good architecture’.
Alexandra Stara, Kingston University, UK
Harvard Citation Guide: Stara, A. (2012) Architecture’s Sensible Character Or Wittgenstein’s Missing Preposition, International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture, [blog] 06 May 2012, Available at: https://isparchitecture.wordpress.com. [Accessed: 01 June 2012].