Wittgenstein and Heidegger against a Science of Aesthetics

Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 57 (1):64-85 (2020)
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Wittgenstein’s and Heidegger’s objections against the possibility of a science of aesthetics were influential on different sides of the analytic/continental divide. Heidegger’s anti-scientism leads him to an alētheic view of artworks which precedes and exceeds any possible aesthetic reduction. Wittgenstein also rejects the relevance of causal explanations, psychological or physiological, to aesthetic questions. The main aim of this paper is to compare Heidegger with Wittgenstein, showing that: there are significant parallels to be drawn between Wittgenstein’s and Heidegger’s anti-scientism about aesthetics, and that their anti-scientism leads both towards partly divergent criticisms of what I will call ‘aestheticism’. The divergence is mainly due to a broader metaphilosophical disagreement concerning appeals to ordinary language. Thus situating the two philosophers’ positions facilitates a possible critical dialogue between analytic and continental approaches in aesthetics.

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Andreas Vrahimis
University of Cyprus

Citations of this work

On the purity of European consciousness in the existential anthropology of early M. Heidegger.V. B. Okorokov - 2022 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 21:137-150.
Portraits, Facial Perception, and Aspect-Seeing.Andreas Vrahimis - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (1):85–100.

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References found in this work

Introduction to Metaphysics.Martin Heidegger - 2000 - New Haven: Yale University Press. Edited by Gregory Fried.
Contributions to philosophy (of the event).Martin Heidegger - 2012 - Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Edited by Richard Rojcewicz & Daniela Vallega-Neu.
Heidegger, Art, and the Overcoming of Metaphysics.Matt Dill - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):294-311.
What is it to Depsychologize Psychology?Stina Bäckström - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):358-375.

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