Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things (Studies in Continental Thought)

Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things (Studies in Continental Thought)

Günter Figal

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0253015588

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Connecting aesthetic experience with our experience of nature or with other cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology focuses on what art means for cognition, recognition, and affect―how art changes our everyday disposition or behavior. Günter Figal engages in a penetrating analysis of the moment at which, in our contemplation of a work of art, reaction and thought confront each other. For those trained in the visual arts and for more casual viewers, Figal unmasks art as a decentering experience that opens further possibilities for understanding our lives and our world.

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highest determination.” It has “lost the real truth and liveliness” and is “more displaced into our imagination” than being able to “assert in reality its erstwhile necessity and take its highest place.”30 “Thought and reflection” have “surpassed fine art” (24), and therefore “the science of art” has now become “far more of a need than at the time when art, for itself, was already fully satisfying as art.” Art nowadays invites “thoughtful observation, not for the sake of bringing forth more art,

specifically poetry); instead, philosophy can take art up into scientific observation and treat it as one of its own prior stages in the development of spirit. Hegel’s philosophy of spirit explains his historicism: past art is decisive for him because it is the only object of possible “truth and liveliness” in an age of science and reflection. In modernity spirit retreats from art, and that is why new art has become inessential. Taken in itself, it is not even worthy of scientific observation. It

occur or could have occurred just as it is told. If the novel is understood as an artwork (in other words, in its character of appearance), one takes the story in precisely this sense; one Beauty 73 takes it as a possibility of occurrence with respect to which the question of fact or actual occurrence does not even arise. It is not the reconstruction of occurrence that is revealing, the unpacking of the states of affairs, or the persons involved; rather, what is revealing is just the

a form that must be taken from it in order for it to become material; it is altered, damaged, or killed. Trees are felled to be cut into beams and boards; animals are hunted or butchered so their skin can be processed into leather for the production of bags and shoes. As thoroughly as this processing into material may change something, one can frequently still recognize the origin of the material. Accordingly, the difference between form and material that is essential for production and

character to art,21 philosophy can discover it anew. After all, the term is rarely still used in its classical meaning, but stands instead for a system of statements, determined by certain basic suppositions and concepts that describe a more or less limited realm of objects and explain circumstances specific to this realm. In this sense, theory is above all a matter for the sciences, yet this theory has little or nothing to do with θεωρία in the classical sense. If there are moments of classical

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