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 capability 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 knowledgeable within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks paintings as a decentering event that opens extra probabilities for figuring out our lives and our international.

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These states of affairs sketched here correspond to the essence of art; even if artworks come to exist in a specific tradition, at a specific time, and within a specific cultural context, they are not limited to this tradition, this time, and this cultural context. Art is art of the world. Every artwork is fundamentally open to anyone. It may help one group of listeners or viewers that prior knowledge and certain habits of hearing or seeing are conducive to the adequate experience of an artwork.

It may be rare to find philosophical reflections on architecture or gardening that aim at universality, but these are not erroneous; generally, a tea bowl (chawan) that is used in Japanese tea ceremonies is hardly worth an art-philosophical glance. There is something like an art-philosophical canon; the philosophy of art has readily limited 18 Aesthetics as Phenomenology itself to the poetry, imagistic art, or sound art of the Western tradition. To be sure, its concepts as such are rooted in the philosophy that goes back to ancient Greek thought.

55 Yet because, according to Hegel’s conviction, artworks are not understood in their effects but only as a human activity that “has sprung forth from spirit” and thus also belongs “to the ground of spirit” (48), it is the sensible manifestation of spirit, accomplishing itself in human action, that centrally holds Hegel’s interest.  . ” The “actual expression” for the science that bears developing is “philosophy of art,” more precisely “philosophy of fine arts” (13). This decision coincides with a marginalization of the naturally beautiful.

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