Schopenhauer’s Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

Philosophy Compass 7 (1):11-22 (2012)
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This essay focuses on Schopenhauer’s aesthetics and philosophy of art, areas of his philosophy which have attracted the most philosophical attention in recent years. After discussing the subjective and objective aspects of aesthetic experience on his account, I shall offer interpretations of Schopenhauer’s theory of the sublime and solution to the problem of tragedy. In addition, I shall touch upon the liveliest interpretive debates concerning his aesthetic theory: the intelligibility of the “Platonic Ideas” as the objects of aesthetic experience and the very possibility of aesthetic experience within Schopenhauer’s system. Another aim of this essay is to suggest how some of Schopenhauer’s aesthetic doctrines may be interpreted in a less metaphysically extravagant way. When understood in this manner, contemporary aestheticians might be inclined to take a closer look at Schopenhauer’s aesthetic theory and philosophy of art, for it is distinctive in the tradition of Western philosophical aesthetics in its attempt to highlight and balance the hedonic and cognitive importance of aesthetic experiences; in its sensitivity both to the aesthetic experience of nature as well as of art; in the high value placed on the experience of music ; and in the innovative solution to the problem of tragedy it offers



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Sandra Shapshay
Hunter College (CUNY)

Citations of this work

Nature aesthetics.James M. Dow - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (5):e12829.
Der japanische Garten im System Schopenhauers.Jens Lemanski - 2021 - Schopenhauer Jahrbuch 102:131-159.

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References found in this work

Schopenhauer: 'The World as Will and Representation': Volume 1.Arthur Schopenhauer & E. F. J. Payne - 2010 - [Indian Hills, Colo.]: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Judith Norman, Alistair Welchman & Christopher Janaway.
The birth of tragedy.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1872 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Oscar Levy & William A. Haussmann.
Untimely meditations.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1874 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by R. J. Hollingdale.
On the Basis of Morality.Arthur Schopenhauer - 1965 - Providence: Hackett. Edited by E. F. J. Payne.
The philosophy of Schopenhauer.Bryan Magee - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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