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Wittgenstein on aesthetics and philosophy

Schroeder, S. (2019) Wittgenstein on aesthetics and philosophy. Revista de Historiografía, 32. pp. 11-21. ISSN 2445-0057

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To link to this item DOI: 10.20318/revhisto.2019.4891


Wittgenstein offers three objections to the idea of aesthetics as a branch of psychology: (i) Statistical data about people’s preferences have no normative force. (ii) Artistic value is not instrumental value, a capacity to produce independently identifiable – and scientifically measurable – psychological effects. (iii) While psychological investigations may bring to light the causes of aesthetic preferences, they fail to provide reasons for them. According to Wittgenstein, aesthetic explanations (unlike scientific explanations) are poignant synoptic representations of aspects of a work, and the criterion of success of an aesthetic explanation is that it satisfies the addressee. He repeatedly remarked that they resemble philosophical explanations, which also try to dispel puzzlement or confusion. The difference, however, is that whereas in philosophy we deal with general conceptual problems, aesthetic explanations typically concern individual responses to particular works of art.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:84464


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