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.

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