Aesthetic Experience by Richard Shusterman, Adele Tomlin

By Richard Shusterman, Adele Tomlin

In this volume, a staff of the world over revered contributors theorize the concept of aesthetic adventure and its price. Exposing and increasing our restricted cultural and highbrow presuppositions of what constitutes aesthetic event, the e-book goals to re-explore and verify where of aesthetic experience--in its evaluative, phenomenological and transformational sense--not in basic terms with regards to artwork and artists yet to our internal and non secular lives.

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Extra resources for Aesthetic Experience

Sample text

The fact that I use the term ‘‘aesthetic interest’’ here suggests that as with the notion of degrees of unity, haziness, and so forth, we should expect our aesthetic engagement to be psychologically characterizable in terms of varying degrees of interest, disinterest, and even, on occasion, uninterest. Which of these will apply, will depend on both the nature of aesthetic objects, and the context in which we engage with them. These points may seem highly surprising, given the traditional link between the aesthetic and disinterestedness.

One talks in this respect of visual perception, attention, and awareness, as opposed, say, to their auditory or tactile modes. On the other hand, we distinguish degrees of cognition by ultimate reference to psychological states of the cognizing subject. In this respect we contrast, say, ‘‘unified and vivid’’ with ‘‘muddled and faint’’ perception; or ‘‘rapt and concentrated’’ with ‘‘wandering and lax’’ attention. Similar considerations hold in relation to the term ‘‘attitude,’’ for whilst it is not a variety of cognition as such, it can be differentiated into its own internal varieties on psychological grounds similar to the above.

To determine whether this is a legitimate bias, I shall explore criteria governing these characterizations in terms of their implications for the aesthetic. My strategy will be to ask whether the criteria which govern, say, the distinction of perception into its varieties, would allow us to distinguish and thereby necessarily and sufficiently define the aesthetic as one such variety. The strategy will show, in due course, that the aesthetic should be understood specifically as a mode of experience.

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