Utopia, Sound, and Matter in Ernst Bloch

Federico Rampinini


Bloch’s philosophy of music is one of the most interesting of the twentieth century, particularly in the context of Marxist aesthetics. This article focuses on the various peculiarities of this thought, which seldom are highlighted. Firstly, through a new analysis of the musical sections of Spirit of Utopia and The Principle of Hope, the relation between utopia and music will be discussed in Sections 2 and 3 in order to show the originality of Bloch’s refusal of the Marxist base-superstructure model in the field of aesthetics. In contrast to the other philosophies of music, the study of music inspires theoretical speculation in Bloch’s thought and not vice versa. In order to demonstrate this connection, in Sections 4 and 5, the idea of the sound in Spirit of Utopia will be examined and compared to the conception of the matter as it is presented in The Principle of Hope, The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance, and other works. These paragraphs aim to highlight how the early conception of sound was the model for the later conception of matter.


Ernst Bloch; Marxism; Aesthetics; Philosophy of Music; Materialism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10511154

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ESPES. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by University of Presov, Slovakia and the Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia. Registration number of the journal in the Register of Periodical Publications of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic: EV173/23/EPP.

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