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See detailThe Significance of Non-conceptual Mental Content in Kant's Aesthetics
Turai, Katalin UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

This work is an in depth investigation of the nature of aesthetic appreciation in Kant`s aesthetics and the role of non-conceptual mental content in producing artwork. My thesis argues for a number of ... [more ▼]

This work is an in depth investigation of the nature of aesthetic appreciation in Kant`s aesthetics and the role of non-conceptual mental content in producing artwork. My thesis argues for a number of claims in this respect. Firstly, I define aesthetic attention, and contend that aesthetic attention is a spontaneously chosen mental state focussed on non-conceptual sensible representations i.e. intuitions, which differ in kind from conceptual representations. Second, I observe that aesthetic attention may start off a mental process, which Kant calls free play, which is felt as aesthetic pleasure. Thirdly, I observe that aesthetic pleasure is a cognitive feeling, which is nonconceptual mental content in its own right, since it is a feeling having distinctive phenomenal, intentional and representational features, which distinguish it from other pleasures. Aesthetic pleasure is a feeling, which stems from the harmonious working together of the imagination and the understanding, I contend that in this activity the imagination participates both as a receptive and a spontaneous faculty. Aesthetic cognitive feeling thus brings together the receptive and the spontaneous powers of the perceiver thereby producing a feeling of unity. My thesis investigates the significance of such aesthetic cognitive feeling, notably, how in the reading of Francois Lyotard the harmonious feeling experienced on the occasion of a beautiful object promises the unification of Kant`s subject, who in terms of his analyses, which my paper presents, is divided. Finally, my work considers how cognitive feeling as non-conceptual mental content and the non-conceptual connecting of sensible representations play a role in the creative work of the artist, when producing aesthetic ideas and works, which have beautiful form. [less ▲]

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