Aesthetics as phenomenology : the appearance of things by Figal, Gnter, Veith, Jerome

By Figal, Gnter, Veith, Jerome

Connecting aesthetic adventure with our event of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology specializes in what paintings potential for cognition, attractiveness, and affect―how artwork adjustments our daily disposition or habit. Günter Figal engages in a penetrating research of the instant at which, in our contemplation of a piece of paintings, response and idea confront one another. For these knowledgeable within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks paintings as a decentering event that opens additional percentages for knowing our lives and our world.

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It is especially no longer clear, then, why aesthetic experience prefers to deal with artworks at all. This difficulty is already decisive for Kant’s Critique of Judgment, the foundational work of philosophical aesthetics. Although Kant ranks the aesthetic experience of nature much higher than that of artworks, an essential determination of aesthetic experience, namely its sociability that finds expression in communicability and critical conversation, applies above all to the experience of artworks.

These states of affairs sketched here correspond to the essence of art; even if artworks come to exist in a specific tradition, at a specific time, and within a specific cultural context, they are not limited to this tradition, this time, and this cultural context. Art is art of the world. Every artwork is fundamentally open to anyone. It may help one group of listeners or viewers that prior knowledge and certain habits of hearing or seeing are conducive to the adequate experience of an artwork.

In artworks, this appearance is deictic. Something appears in its decentered order—for instance that which a picture shows, or that which a novel narrates. This something is shown, but only in such a way that an artwork itself shows itself. Artworks do not point to something that exists beyond them and that would be intended by the works themselves. What they show is rather only in them and with them, in the way that they show it. It belongs to the self-showing of artworks that they are recognizable as artworks.

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