The aim of this article is to introduce the idea of a phenomenology of luxury. The thesis is that luxury cannot be a characteristic of things or of actions, but that it arises through a private aesthetic experience, which can be identified as a functional equivalent to play as it is found in Friedrich Schiller. If an autonomous subject possesses something exaggeratedly, superfluously, or irrationally elaborate, and if that subject further experiences ownership as liberation from the forceful demands of goal-oriented rationality and utilitarian thinking, then that something is luxury.
Toward a Phenomenology of Luxury
Lambert Weising studied philosophy, art history, and archaeology at the University of Muenster and was appointed in 2001 to professor for picture theory and phenomenology at the University of Jena. In 2005 he was elected president of the German Society for Aesthetics; in 2010 he was appointed director of the Institute for Philosophy in Jena; in 2010 he was appointed a visiting professor at the Institute for Philosophy at the University of Vienna and in 2013 he was Leverhulme Visiting Professor at University of Oxford; in 2015 he was awarded the Aby-Warburg Wissenschaftspreis.