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By Figal, Gnter, Veith, Jerome

Connecting aesthetic event with our adventure of nature or with different cultural artifacts, Aesthetics as Phenomenology makes a speciality of what artwork capacity for cognition, acceptance, 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 proposal confront one another. For these informed within the visible arts and for extra informal audience, Figal unmasks paintings as a decentering event that opens additional probabilities for figuring out our lives and our world.

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Sample text

Even everyday experience attests to the fact that observation is irreplaceable: In our daily life replete with action, there are insights that cannot be won through acting, but instead only in pausing and reflecting, which can only lead to results if they are not subsumed under a purpose. Contrary to acting, observation is not oriented toward aims. The more it corresponds to its essence, the less it is concerned with a result posited beforehand. Observation could only be goal-oriented if one knew ahead of time what one wanted to experience.

Yet the fact that they are artworks is demonstrated, above all, in the possibility of the aesthetic attitude. In order to grasp the essence of art more precisely, and with it the essence of the aesthetic attitude, one need merely reflect on the fundamental conception of philosophical aesthetics. ” Correspondingly, that which one now matter-of-factly calls “art”—as if there were no such thing as the art of healing or the art of speaking—is to be grasped as fine art [schöne Kunst]. The term may sound dated, like the eighteenth century from which it stems.

But for this, it does need to reflect upon its theoretical essence. Theory in the philosophical sense does not compete with science; it therefore need not capitulate before a successful science. Philosophy need not explain or provide a foundation. As the observation that it essentially is, it can be enacted in the description of what is there, as long as this description is conceptual and presuppositionless, which means if it is undertaken through a radical reflection about its concepts. The fundamental condition for such a reflection is the orientation by that which is to be described.

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