Difference-theoretical Analysis of Aesthetic Media and Forms

Author: Franz Kasper Krönig, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany

Email: fkroenig@th-koeln.de
Published: April 02, 2018

Citation: Krönig, F. K. (2018). Difference-theoretical Analysis of Aesthetic Media and Forms. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijcs.3.1.02


The general medium/form-difference-theory as proposed by Fritz Heider (cf. Heider, 1959) has been seized on by the sociological systems theory as an epistemological and heuristic basis of such a generality that it can be applied to virtually all conceivable fields of research. One could arguably speak of a new paradigm that overcomes traditional differences such as subject/object and cause/effect. This approach has been applied to all types of art, and various research questions in the fields of aesthetics and art theory. This paper proposes a differentiation and categorisation of aesthetic media and forms in order to lay the groundwork for art criticism on a third way between subjective appreciation and objective reasoning. Musical examples demonstrate the applicability of the medium/form-difference-theoretical approach for the aesthetics of music and music criticism.


aesthetics, art criticism, medium/form-difference-theory, systems theory