This essay connects Antonio Gramsci’s expanded concept of Marxian ideology to his training in linguistics and, broadly understood, philosophy of language in order to advance a hypothesis regarding Gramsci’s views on literary criticism and aesthetic judgment. This hypothesis can be summed up in the following way: aesthetic judgment, including literary criticism, maintains a unity of form and content while rejecting facile attempts to reduce the global meaning of a “political” work of art to its ideological content, where ideology is understood in the sense of a series of theoretical propositions about the world, which reside in the realm of traditional Marxist superstructure. As a result, there is no recourse to either a scientific objectivity or a relativistic emphasis on subjectivity in the evaluation of works of art; instead, priority is given to an immanent, contextual interpretation of works of literature and culture. Such a methodology is intimately related to Gramsci’s reworked concept of ideology and therefore deserves further consideration.
Keywords: Gramsci; Ideology; Philosophy of Language, Aesthetic Judgment.
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