In between word and image
philosophical hermeneutics, aesthetics and the inescapable Heritage of kant
This essay will argue that philosophical hermeneutics offers a critique of our experience of art by enquiring not only into the ontological pre-conditions of aesthetic experience but also into its communicative structures. The form of that critique will be discussed, what it might reveal considered, and how it illuminates the hermeneutical operations which shape our interactions with art will be debated. We intend to be critical of Gadamer. Despite his hostility to Kant's heritage, it will be contended that a hermeneutical aesthetics cannot operate without either an appeal to disinterestedness or without invoking an equivalent of Kant's "aesthetic idea". We shall argue, furthermore, that Gadamer's aesthetic theory needs the intervention of disinterested interpretive method in order to avoid unquestioning complacency within any hermeneutical setting and to provoke precisely the unexpected responses to an art work that his theory strives to stimulate and articulate. This involves taking something of a heretical stance with regard to Gadamer's critical attitude towards Kant's aesthetics but, as we intend to show, re-working of certain aspects of Kant's argument strengthens Gadamer's broad hermeneutical approach to aesthetics.
Full citation [Harvard style]:
Davey, N. (2012)., In between word and image: philosophical hermeneutics, aesthetics and the inescapable Heritage of kant, in J. Jansen (ed.), Critical communities and aesthetic practices, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 23-35.
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