Event Title

Regarding Phenomenological Aesthetics

Location

SU 218

Start Date

19-4-2019 12:40 PM

Department

Philosophy

Session

Session 9

Description

In philosophy, the term “aesthetic” refers to a kind of object, a type of experience, a type of judgement, among other things. In this project, I argue that an “aesthetic experience” is best described by an internalist theory that appeals to a phenomenological framework. In order to argue my position, I start by identifying the two key theses that have had a substantial impact on aesthetic theories. The first thesis I discuss comes from Immanuel Kant’s 1790 text Critique of Judgement (Kritik der Urteilskraft). Here, Kant argues that authentic aesthetic experience must be disinterested, contemplative, and reflective. These three requirements demarcate an authentic aesthetic experience so that only “objective assessments”, assessments that require use of our higher cognitive faculties to form a universal “common sense” that arises from a free-play of imagination, are considered to be authentic. Moreover, to satisfy the second and third requirements, the perceiver of the experience must intellectually engage with the object at hand, thus adding a temporal aspect to the activity. Next, I move to Edmund Husserl. Husserl laid out a methodology to his constitutive phenomenology. The “steps” to a phenomenological aesthetics contain 1) a reflective engagement through which the subject forms an appreciating attitude directed towards the object. 2) an analytical engagement through which the object being appreciated is marked with a value judgement and 3) a descriptive engagement that is concerned with factual recollection, this engagement focuses on answering the what question. With these two accounts in hand, I proceed to critique Kant’s notions of contemplation and reflection using the Husserlian framework outlined above. To do this, I argue that there can be no authentic aesthetic experience with the constrictions that Kant argues for since even satisfying the tree requirements does not lead to any strict “objective assessments”.

Comments

Daniel Milsky is the faculty sponsor of this project.

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Apr 19th, 12:40 PM

Regarding Phenomenological Aesthetics

SU 218

In philosophy, the term “aesthetic” refers to a kind of object, a type of experience, a type of judgement, among other things. In this project, I argue that an “aesthetic experience” is best described by an internalist theory that appeals to a phenomenological framework. In order to argue my position, I start by identifying the two key theses that have had a substantial impact on aesthetic theories. The first thesis I discuss comes from Immanuel Kant’s 1790 text Critique of Judgement (Kritik der Urteilskraft). Here, Kant argues that authentic aesthetic experience must be disinterested, contemplative, and reflective. These three requirements demarcate an authentic aesthetic experience so that only “objective assessments”, assessments that require use of our higher cognitive faculties to form a universal “common sense” that arises from a free-play of imagination, are considered to be authentic. Moreover, to satisfy the second and third requirements, the perceiver of the experience must intellectually engage with the object at hand, thus adding a temporal aspect to the activity. Next, I move to Edmund Husserl. Husserl laid out a methodology to his constitutive phenomenology. The “steps” to a phenomenological aesthetics contain 1) a reflective engagement through which the subject forms an appreciating attitude directed towards the object. 2) an analytical engagement through which the object being appreciated is marked with a value judgement and 3) a descriptive engagement that is concerned with factual recollection, this engagement focuses on answering the what question. With these two accounts in hand, I proceed to critique Kant’s notions of contemplation and reflection using the Husserlian framework outlined above. To do this, I argue that there can be no authentic aesthetic experience with the constrictions that Kant argues for since even satisfying the tree requirements does not lead to any strict “objective assessments”.