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Volume 15, Issue 2, Fall/Automne 2011

Colin McQuillan
Pages 11-27

The Intelligence of Sense
Rancière’s Aesthetics

In this paper, I argue that Jacques Rancière does not propose a purely sensible conception of the aesthetic in his recent writings on art. Unlike many contemporary philosophies of art, Rancière’s aesthetics retains an important cognitive dimension. Here, I bring this aspect of Rancière’s aesthetics into view by comparing the conception of intelligence found in his earlier works with his more recent writings on art, showing that intelligence and sense are distributed in the same ways. The distinction between them is, moreover, governed by the same politics. Rancière’s analysis of the sensible and the intellectual breaks down the distinction between them and establishes their equality.