Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things by Günter Figal

By Günter Figal

Connecting aesthetic adventure with our event of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology makes a speciality of what paintings potential for cognition, popularity, 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 suggestion confront one another. For these knowledgeable within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks paintings as a decentering adventure that opens extra percentages for realizing our lives and our global.

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Accordingly, just as in the querelle des anciens et des modernes, the concepts have a positional sense; one takes a stance with them by standing over against another position. ”43 Conversely, whoever calls something “modern” underscores its worth in distinction from that which is proven and purportedly valid in a timeless way. One can illustrate this position with a comment of Adorno’s on Anton Bruckner. ”44 This is how it appears when, following the principle of Adorno’s Ästhetische Theorie, it became a matter of self-evidence that nothing concerning art was self-evident anymore” (9).

Here, the text that is to be characterized and determined according to its significance and meaning precedes insight; it provides in advance the context of comprehensibility and its possibilities. Accordingly, any determination related to the text is placed in the context of the text. The reflection of hermeneutical concepts does not arise from the activity of the one who interprets. The concepts are initially reflected by the text and turned toward the interpreter. It is only in this way that the latter can ponder them.

It only deserves attention in order to make evident the superiority of science and philosophy. Yet Hegel’s orientation by way of the classical does not absorb completely into its historical fitting. Even if Greek art is past and is therefore the art of another epoch, its exemplarity must have a supertemporal character. Greek art can only be classical because one can at all times experience the essence of art in it. 20 Aesthetics as Phenomenology Hans-Georg Gadamer has underlined the supertemporality of the classical.

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