Aesthetics of appearing. By Martin Seel. Translated by John Farrell. Stanford: Stanford university press. 2005. Pp. XIV + 238. £16.95 [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
One of the many virtues of Martin Seel’s Aesthetics of Appearing is that it lays its cards on the table at the very outset. The final three chapters consist in a series of complex digressions from the main discussion: one on the aesthetic significance of ‘resonating’(p. 139), one organized around the metaphysics of pictures, and one charged with defending the implausible claim that the artistic representation of violence is uniquely capable of revealing ‘what is violent about violence’ (p. 191). But the thesis of the book and its main arguments are stated in the preface, preceding even the acknowledgements. Seel writes, ‘[t]his book makes the proposal of having aesthetics begin not with concepts of being‐so or semblance but with a concept of appearing’ (p. xi). This might initially seem opaque, as though reducing aesthetics to a subtlety involving the meaning of the Greek word phainomai, but Seel immediately clarifies the stance that he wishes to advance. Seel’s position is that aesthetics is distinguished by attention to the indeterminable particularity of sensory experience; aesthetics so considered comprises the philosophy of art as well as non‐art experience; aesthetic experience is a legitimate mode of world‐encounter by virtue of its immediacy or ‘presence’ (p. xi)(Gegenwart – i.e., a contrary of ‘past’, rather than of ‘absence’); and because the presence of our experience reveals the presence of our lives, aesthetic experience constitutes an important form of self‐knowledge. The subsequent chapters are devoted to explicating this position in extraordinary detail. Seel’s position depends on a somewhat implicit account of subjectivity. In this account, what we fundamentally perceive, conditioned by conceptual activity but transcending any possible determinate content, is a ‘play’ of sensuous qualities (p. 47). Since it is ‘unfettered’ (p. 51) by theoretical interest, this form of perception is far qualitatively richer than our more structured experiences: here one is ‘able to perceive....
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Malcolm Budd (1996). The Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature. British Journal of Aesthetics 36 (3):207-222.
A. T. Nuyen (1995). Book Reviews : John Martin Fischer, Ed., The Metaphysics of Death. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1993. Pp. Xiv, 423. Price $45.00 (Cloth), $16.95 (Paper). Jacques Derrida, Aporias. Translated by Thomas Dutoit. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1993. Pp. X, 87. Price $29.50 (Cloth), $12.95 (Paper). Zygmunt Bauman, Mortality, Immortality and Other Life Strategies. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1992. Pp. 215. Price $39.50 (Cloth), $14.95 (Paper. [REVIEW] Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (4):539-545.
Martin Seel (2012). The Music of Thinking: A Literary Experiment with the Great Themes of Philosophy. Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 23 (42).
Robert Hopkins (2005). Aesthetics, Experience, and Discrimination. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (2):119–133.
Martin Seel (2007). Form as an Organization of Time. Critical Horizons 8 (2):157-168.
Keith Lehrer (2012). Art, Self, and Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990). The Art of Seeing: An Interpretation of the Aesthetic Encounter. Getty Center for Education in the Arts.
Monika Bokiniec (2009). Mieczysław Wallis: Experience and Value. Estetika 46 (1):75-96.
Zofia Rosińska (2011). Leopold Blaustein: Imaginary Representations, A Study on the Border of Psychology and Aesthetics; The Role of Perception in Aesthetic Experience. Estetika 48 (2):199-243.
Martin Seel (2005). Aesthetics of Appearing. Stanford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #122,713 of 1,725,584 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #81,222 of 1,725,584 )
How can I increase my downloads?