By Günter Figal
Connecting aesthetic event with our adventure of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology specializes in what artwork potential for cognition, attractiveness, and affect—how paintings alterations 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 idea confront one another. For these expert within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks artwork as a decentering event that opens additional probabilities for knowing our lives and our international.
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Additional info for Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things (Studies in Continental Thought)
The world is “that which is always non-object-like, to which we are subordinate as long as the courses of birth and death, blessing and curse [keep us] carried away into Being”: “Where the essential decisions of our history fall, are taken over or abandoned by us, are misjudged or newly questioned, that is where the world worlds” (30–31). This can be demonstrated well with the example that Heidegger selects, the Greek temple; the temple opens the “view” of a historical life, provided that “in the work-like setting-up, the holy is opened up as holy and the god is called into the openness of its presence” (30).
But if the gathered works are illuminating as works of fine art, then it is a merely alleged arbitrariness. 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.
It has an emphatic worldlessness, just as Cézanne’s still lifes and landscapes, Matisse’s Intérieurs, Newman or Rothko’s glowing color surfaces, one of Bach’s violin sonatas, or Goethe’s Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’. If these artworks show something, then it is not in their “belonging to a world,” but as artworks: in their beauty. But this is a matter of aesthetic consciousness. What is opened in beauty is only revealed as such in aesthetic experience. Art, Philosophically 35 Aesthetic experience should not here be pitted against “belonging to a world” in Gadamer’s sense.