By Günter Figal
Connecting aesthetic adventure with our adventure of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology specializes in what artwork capability for cognition, reputation, and affect—how paintings alterations our daily disposition or habit. Günter Figal engages in a penetrating research of the instant at which, in our contemplation of a piece of artwork, response and idea confront one another. For these educated within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks artwork as a decentering event that opens extra percentages for knowing our lives and our world.
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Extra resources for Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things
They aroused enthusiasm and interest and thereby paved the way for further discoveries; later experiences follow upon earlier ones and even by turning away from the latter remain bound to them. Talents supervened from the outset and determined one’s inclinations; those gifted at hearing or seeing turn to the works that are respectively more accessible to them. This can be strengthened by artistic activity, even if it remains amateurish. Later, once reflection has set in, the inclination toward certain art forms, epochs, or works is also shaped by prejudices as they are articulated in scientific or philosophical schools of thought or writings.
But post-Kantian philosophy failed to follow Kant in a decisive respect. Instead of conceiving nature and freedom as harmonizing or being congruent, the attempt took hold of showing their inner unity by retreating to a principle that grounds it; the “I,” “the absolute,” and “Geist” are just a few designations for this principle. This development coincided with a turn away from Kant’s conception of the aesthetic. His conception certainly always continued to find advocates and apologists, but this aesthetics stands in a peculiar orthogonal relation to the development of the philosophical discussion of the beautiful after Kant.
To do this, one should deal with the establishment of philosophical aesthetics in modernity. Alexander Baumgarten’s Aesthetica, to which philosophical aesthetics owes its name, was intended as an elucidation of αἰσθητικὴ ἐπιστήμη, of perceptual knowledge. In this light, its topic is art as knowledge. 48 Even though that sounds like a devaluation of sensible knowing, Baumgarten’s is the first systematic attempt in modern philosophy to dignify sensible or sensibly dominated knowledge in its peculiarity and to demonstrate its possibilities.
Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things by Günter Figal