The Aesthetic Field: A Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience

Springfield, Ill., Thomas (1970)


The Aesthetic Field develops an account of aesthetic experience that distinguishes four mutually interacting factors: the creative factor represented primarily by the artist; the appreciative one by the viewer, listener, or reader; the objective factor by the art object, which is the focus of the experience; and the performative by the activator of the aesthetic occurrence. Each of these factors both affects all the others and is in turn influenced by them, so none can be adequately considered apart from them. Thus aesthetic appreciation, for example, has creative, objective, and performative aspects. This situation of four factors, together with social, cultural, technological, and historical influences on them, is called the aesthetic field. Although the factors are theoretically distinguishable, they are experienced as a unity. It is important, therefore, not to confound the theoretical explanation of aesthetic experience with the experience, itself. The aesthetic field has important implications for understanding the various individual arts, new developments in the arts, and the critical appraisal of the arts. Moreover, the concept transforms traditional issues in aesthetics.

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Arnold Berleant
Long Island University

References found in this work

How to Make Our Ideas Clear.C. S. Peirce - 1878 - Popular Science Monthly 12 (Jan.):286-302.
The Myth of the Aesthetic Attitude.George Dickie - 1964 - American Philosophical Quarterly 1 (1):56-65.
The Problem of Consciousness: A Debate.Brand Blanshard & B. F. Skinner - 1966 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 27 (3):317-37.
Intrinsic Value.Monroe C. Beardsley - 1965 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (1):1-17.

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Citations of this work

Environmental Sensibility.Arnold Berleant - 2014 - Studia Phaenomenologica 14:17-23.
Reconsidering Scenic Beauty.Arnold Berleant - 2010 - Environmental Values 19 (3):335 - 350.
Dewey's Aesthetics.Tom Leddy - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Naturalism and Aesthetic Experience.Arnold Berleant - 1995 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 9 (3):237 - 240.

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