Schopenhauers pessimisme, de esthetische contemplatie en de waarde van de kunst | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 115 Number 4
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

According to Schopenhauer, the aesthetic contemplation of art temporarily offers some kind of redemption: art is valuable because of its liberating effect on the spectator’s will, i.e. his or her urges, strivings and desires. He also acknowledges that works of art have cognitive value, since they offer insight into timeless Platonic Ideas. I argue that Schopenhauer is right to acknowledge the cognitive value of art, but that his aesthetic Platonism is flawed and thus cannot offer a solid foundation for the envisaged redemption, let alone for human happiness. By confronting Schopenhauer’s aesthetic theory with some aspects of Kant’s, I aim to show that by disentangling Schopenhauer’s theory from Platonism and focusing on his psychology of aesthetic contemplation we can provide a more plausible view of aesthetic contemplation, which is compatible with Schopenhauerian pessimism as well as with the possibility of human happiness.

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