Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things by Günter Figal

By Günter Figal

Connecting aesthetic event with our adventure of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology makes a speciality of what paintings skill 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 artwork, response and concept confront one another. For these informed within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks artwork as a decentering event that opens additional percentages for knowing our lives and our global.

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Additional resources for Aesthetics as Phenomenology: The Appearance of Things (Studies in Continental Thought)

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The philosophical discussion of art must strive for a universal, coherent concept of art. Thus, the task is to work out such a concept and argue for its rigor and plausibility in the context of the art-philosophical tradition and discourse. The working out of a philosophical concept of art stands before a fundamental difficulty common to all formations of concepts. The formation of concepts aims at universality, and yet it must begin with the particular. The concept may not contain anything that only pertains to a particular instance, such that its universality would be compromised.

That [means] simultaneity with every present” (293). The supertemporality of the classical, as Gadamer understands it, thus does not lie in a classical work’s sheer timelessness. 32 Thus, as Kierkegaard (to whom the concept of simultaneity can be traced) emphasizes, the apostles who lived with Jesus did not have any advantage over later believers. 33 Accordingly, contemporaneity does not guarantee understanding; it might make a work appear to be more accessible, but it is no guarantee that the work is truly illuminating.

A Japanese tea bowl in the Raku style never had to stand the test of historical critique since it was never suspected of merely being a product that electrifies contemporary taste. 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.

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