May 2021

Labont Seminar: Günter Figal


May 17, 2021

Günter Figal, Objective Aesthetics. On the Epistemological Relevance of Art

17 maggio, ore 16.00, Webex

In line with Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment, aesthetic experience is often regarded as subjective. This, however, is not compatible with the very existence of artworks as objects that, when experienced, per se effect an aesthetic attitude. Artworks as such withdraw from conceptual determination and thus draw attention to their mere perceptibility. They are made for intensified perceptive experience, which normally is called “aesthetic”. Considering the structure of artworks I will first attempt to clarify this more in detail. Subsequently I wish to show that intensified perceptive experience as enabled by artworks is a discovery of the primordial perceptibility that grounds everyday life as well as scientific research, but remains implicit or is marginalized with every meaning-dominated and conceptual practice. Thus art gives access to the original character of the “life world” in terms of Husserl’s phenomenology. However, art and its aesthetic experience thereby do not reveal a particular truth that otherwise remains concealed. Art rather complements science, and it does so in a way similar to scientific practice. As I intend to show in reference to Valéry’s reflections on Leonardo da Vinci and also to Husserl’ considerations on the origin of geometry, art performs an abstraction from the world of meaningful entities in order to reveal the purely perceptible, whereas science performs a similar abstraction, but in order to establish a formal system, which allows a mathematical determination of things. Such determination really is a cognition, and not construction. Both art and science are objective in a contrary, but complementary way.