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Stuttgart Incentives

Programming beauty

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United Secondary and Vocational School Vocational School Polytechnical School Polytechnic Royal College of Technology College of Technology Universität Stuttgart

The second Bense affair

Like in his lectures at university, Bense was outspoken and forthright in front of non-university audiences too. His unmistakably hostile remarks about the Church and the Pope led to heated disputes on the "Bense affair" in the Baden-Württemberg parliament.

On 4 December 1970 Max Bense was interviewed in the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten" newspaper, during which he was asked about the attack on the Pope in Manila:

"Question: Would you also be capable of pulling a knife on someone, on the Pope for instance?
Bense: No, I don't kill.
Question: You don't kill, but you don't object to others doing so?
Bense: Not at all. If someone does that, I might admire them for it. I personally don't do it."

Initiated by the Church, a debate began during which the Christian Democrat parliamentary party called for Bense to appear before a disciplinary hearing and for him to be immediately dismissed from his post. Other parties also reacted with fierce attacks on him. After a huge political uproar and debates on academic freedom, which led to several politicians having to resign, Bense published an extensive public defence and was allowed to continue teaching.


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How "Beauty" came to Stuttgart
Friedrich Theodor Vischer ... in Tübingen
... in Stuttgart
... and aesthetics
Käte Hamburger: ... Epic preterite
... Aesthetic truth
Max Bense: ... Programming beauty
  Bense moves to Stuttgart College
  Numerical aesthetics and semiotics
  Beauty is taken into the outside world
  The second Bense affair
... Aesthetics and technology
The legacy of aesthetics
Biography: Friedrich Theodor Vischer
Biography: Käte Hamburger
Biography: Max Bense
Incentive timeline