Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology
Hauptbeitrag

Intensität als Kategorie ästhetischer Erfahrung


April 1999, 3. Jahrgang, Heft 10, pp 5-27



Abstract
Intensity as a category of aesthetic experience

When dealing with art the human understanding of life and the world is intensified and deepened. The intensity of aesthetic experience transports one´s normal sense of reality into a »state of emergency« (Ausnahmezustand) through which the relation to the world receives a new cognitive and affective urgency. The examples of John Dewey´s pragmatistic model Arnold Gehlen´s compensatory theory and George Steiner´s epiphanal approach show that the intensity of aesthetic experience opens alternative scopes of action that result in an enrichment replacement or transformation of everyday life. The three authors do capture individual aspects of aesthetic intensity accurately yet they adhere to an outdated understanding of the autonomy of art which has become anachronistic against the background of the mass democracy and media society. Music painting and literature no longer stand as independent realms of value opposite everyday life but have become integral components of that life. This effects the intensification of experiences when dealing with works of art that are only temporarily able to bring about a change in one´s relation to the world. The intellectual and emotional shock during encounters with art turns into a transitional phenomenon which is fulfilled in the superimposition of various forms of experience that briefly and randomly cause a »state of emergency« in everyday life.

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