The bleakness of Schopenhauer’s notoriously pessimistic take on the human condition is mitigated to some extent by his recognition of the possibilities of aesthetic experience and of denial of the will-to-live. However, as Schopenhauer himself acknowledges, his account of the latter appears inconsistent with his determinism, and we argue that this is no less the case with regard to his account of the former. After outlining what we take to be the basis and extent of Schopenhauer’s deterministic picture of human (...) beings, we develop and discuss the possibility that the apparent inconsistency of this picture with his accounts of denial of the will-to-live and aesthetic experience may in fact be no more than appearance – the extent, that is, to which the latter may be construed as varieties of experience to which we are essentially passive. We argue that while there is something to this suggestion, there are aspects of Schopenhauer’s conceptions of both aesthetic experience and denial that remain in tension with his determinism. Indeed, we suggest, ultimately Schopenhauer’s deterministic picture of human beings portrays a kind of creature for whom aesthetic experience in general, let alone denial of the will, should simply be impossible. We turn next to Schopenhauer’s conception of the ‘moral’ or ‘transcendental’ freedom of human beings, and consider how the latter may be appealed to in explaining the possibility of aesthetic and ascetic experience in Schopenhauer’s terms. Schopenhauer’s own appeal to transcendental freedom in this context is, we argue, unpersuasive. In the end, we conclude, he leaves wholly mysterious the freedom inherent in his conceptions of aesthetic and ascetic experience. (shrink)
Ship design needs to respond to and attract an ever more design conscious society. However, little research has been conducted into perceptions of beauty and pleasure and how such perceptions can be usefully absorbed into ship design. Aesthetic consideration, is seen as a distraction from the bespoke nature of the ship design process and is often avoided, second guessed or left for external consultancy. The ship design discipline requires the nurturing of its own aesthetic methods, for future development, and to (...) adapt some of the aesthetic ideals found in architecture, art and design. This paper argues that philosophy can be effective in interpreting what the passenger finds attractive and pleasurable. To illustrate the philosophical approach proposed, the `Elbe SWATH’ and the `Oasis of the Seas’ are investigated and compared using theoretical resources from the culturally focused philosophy of `Functional Beauty’. Conclusions suggest that the interpretation of the end users most valued appreciations can lead to design directives that deliver subjective qualities of beauty - beauty similar to those seen in the pure aims of the Elbe SWATH’s purposeful work craft, or comparable to nature’s beauty and purity in aim. (shrink)
Offering a unique 'debate' format, the third edition of_ _the bestselling_ Arguing About Art_ is ideal for newcomers to aesthetics or philosophy of art. This lively collection presents an extensive range of short, clear introductions to each of the discussions which include: sentimentality appreciation interpretation understanding objectivity nature food horror. With revised introductions, updated suggestions for further reading and new sections on pornography and societies without art, _Arguing About Art _provides_ _a stimulating and accessible anthology suitable for those coming to (...) aesthetics for the first time. The book will also appeal to students of art history, literature, and cultural studies. (shrink)
_Better Consciousness: Schopenhauer's Philosophy of Value_ reassesses Schopenhauer's aesthetics and ethics and their contemporary relevance. Features a collection of new essays from leading Schopenhauer scholars Explores a relatively neglected area of Schopenhauer's philosophy Offers a new perspective on a great thinker who crystallized the pessimism of the nineteenth century and has many points of contact with twenty-first century thought.