"A Rose by Any Other Name"

Arnold Berleant

Povzetek

This is an essay on the tasks and capacities of aesthetic theory and the pitfalls that beset it. I want to show that aesthetics can be enlightening by revealing and studying the facets and dimensions of experiences we call aesthetic, experience that is expansive and revelatory. This kind of experience can also clarify the relation of aesthetics to other areas of knowledge, such as cultural studies, and conversely, the bearing of other disciplines on our aesthetic understanding. Aesthetic theory, however, is easily caught up in secondary, unproductive, and false issues, and these are what gives this essay its title. What is important, I want to argue, is not what we label beautiful or call art but where we find the kind of value experiences traditionally associated with appreciating beauty, natural and artistic, and how we can enhance and develop such experiences. However, this also requires recognizing the converse of such values in the loss, the negation, the desecration of this mode of experience. I conclude by proposing a larger philosophical role for aesthetics.

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