The debate over stratification within aesthetic objects

Eugene F Kaelin

pp. 123-138

Understanding the aesthetics of Roman Ingarden has been consistently thwarted by his primary interest in the ontology of aesthetic objects. The best known of his “investigations on the borderline between ontology, logic, and the theory of literature,” The Literary Work of Art,1 had to be supplemented with a second, primarily epistemological, text on how literary works of art are cognized — either preaesthetically, aesthetically, or postaesthetically.2 The preaesthetic cognition involves a description of the processes by which a given reader prepares a “concretization” of the multiply stratified work of art, which, as an eidos, is structured phenomenologically by a series of conscious acts founded one upon the other.


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(1990) Ingardeniana II, Dordrecht, Kluwer.