Download Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things by Günter Figal PDF

By Günter Figal

Connecting aesthetic event with our adventure of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology makes a speciality of what artwork capacity for cognition, reputation, and affect—how paintings 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 proposal confront one another. For these informed within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks paintings as a decentering event that opens extra chances for knowing our lives and our world.

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The answer is liberating; one can leave the historical determinations of tradition and emphatic modernity behind—not to mention the fixity of their dogmatic variants, the apology for tradition and forced modernism. But the answer also puts one in a quandary. It seems to place the philosophical observation of art in a circle; philosophical observation apparently needs to assume the art-character of the works that it considers, yet it is precisely tasked with first clarifying this character. If there are no historical criteria for the philosophical observation of art, in the sense of the classical or the radically modern, then there remains only the possibility of a universal, formal determination of the art-character of art that is free from historical presuppositions.

72 If the beautiful can be experienced, it cannot be the result of a subjective impression. Then it is also not an “ideal” that is opposed to the reality of life, no “illusory masking, veiling, or transfiguration,” as it appears to be in Gadamer’s interpretation of Schiller’s letters on aesthetic education (88). 73 If one takes into account that Gadamer describes aesthetic experience in opposition to a belonging to the world, then it is not Schiller but Hegel who is the first theorist of aesthetic consciousness in Gadamer’s sense.

At the same time, however, the bowl is also not a momentary interruption of continuous time that resists current taste. It is simply there in its delicate and strict simplicity. It stands sturdy on its narrow base and nevertheless strives upward in the quiet waves of its irregular walls whose thin black glaze has a matte sheen and lets the porous shaping of the clay shine through. When Art, Philosophically 25 one holds the bowl in one’s hands, feels its lightness and its soft surface—when one drinks tea from it and thereby admires it—it is illuminating in its existence without any historical situation.

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