From the Density of Sense to the Density of the Sensible. The Emergenceof Aesthetic Pregnancy from the Spirit of Hermeneutics

Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 60:163-186 (2020)
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Abstract

Although pregnancy as a semantic and perceptual density is a central notion of aesthetics, scholarship has not yet conducted a genealogical inquiry into its early-modern roots. It is the aim of this investigation to make a contribu-tion in this direction. My thesis is, that the idea of aesthetic pregnancy emerges in Alexander G. Baumgarten’s philoso-phy as the outcome of the convergence between Leibnizian assumptions and a series of hermeneutical categories, which have hitherto been overlooked. After analyzing the role of pregnancy in Lutheran hermeneutics, I examine its reception in Baumgarten’s phi-losophy, in the attempt to enhance the relationships with the earlier tradition. By reconfiguring the semantic density with the instruments of empirical psy-chology, I argue, Baumgarten is able to shift pregnancy from the hermeneutical domain of sense to the metaphysical domain of sensibility, thus paving the way for its fortune in future aesthetics.

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Alessandro Nannini
University of Bucharest

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