Beyond Words, Things, Thoughts, Feelings: Essays on Aesthetic Experience

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Apollo Books, 2011 - Philosophy - 131 pages
What is the nature of aesthetic experience? Author Ha Poong Kim suggests that a genuine aesthetic experience is a perceptual state of consciousness, free of thought. He characterizes it as subjectless, objectless, timeless, revelatory, and joyous. It is a state of mind thus markedly different from our everyday experience, where thought processes impinge on our consciousness. In this book, Ha Poong Kim shares his thoughts on aesthetic experience. Part I tackles the nature of aesthetic experience, as opposed to everyday perception, and illuminates the experience of the beautiful by discussing Plato's famous allegory of the charioteer in Phaedrus and an episode in Proust's In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, the second section of In Search of Lost Time. Part II takes a critical look at Kant's treatment of the judgment of taste in his Critique of Judgment and Eduard Hanslick's conception of the imagination. Part III details Kim's thoughts on several topics of the current debate in aesthetics - among them, the difference between aesthetic and intellectual pleasure, and the nature of expressiveness of music. In the first of the two essays in Part III, the author critically discusses Christopher Butler's interpretation of artworks as narrative, and in the second essay, Peter Kivy's theory of expressive properties. Two appendices are provided: one on the alienation of aesthetic experience in the common love of artworks as values, and the other on performance art as an art form.

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About the author (2011)

Ha Poong Kim taught Western and Eastern philosophy at Eastern Illinois University for more than 20 years. He is the author of several books, including Reading Lao Tzu and To See God, to See the Buddha.

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