Sunday, June 01, 2008

"Art as an experience of truth"

Giovanni Vattimo:

… hermeneutics has led aesthetics to renew its interest in art as an experience of truth, in contrast to any essentially Kantian, and above all neo-Kantian, tradition that has taken root in modernity for which aesthetics is a theory of the specificity of the experience of art privileging what Gadamer, in Truth and Method, has called ‘aesthetic differentiation’.

… the way that we approach the work of art is still decisively influenced by what Gadamer tells us about aesthetic experience as true experience that is transformative of its subject and that cannot be adequately described by theories that continue to rely on Kantian disinterestedness conceived in terms increasingly remote from any ontological point of reference. That said, however, if the ‘truth’ that art contains is to be anything more than a generic form of wisdom about life and human destiny (and this is what one reads in even the last banal of ‘prose versions’ of poetry), we will have to take tougher and more explicit positions regarding the relation between truth as discovered in the work of art and truth as sought in philosophy and debate.

Beyond Interpretation, The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy, translated by David Webb, Stanford University Press, 1997 (1994)

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