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p. 706. Art and ideaslocked

  • Christopher Janaway


‘Art and ideas’ examines Schopenhauer's treatment of aesthetic experience. Schopenhauer belongs to a tradition which equates aesthetic experience with a ‘disinterested’ attitude towards its object. The idea is that to experience something aesthetically, one must suspend or disengage all one's desires towards it and attend only to the way it presents itself in perception. Music, for him, has the peculiarity of expressing what might be called impersonal emotions. Listeners thus recognize the pure ebb and flow of the will, of striving and satisfaction, in which their own life consists, but without their own desires being engaged, without feeling emotions themselves, and so without any risk of pain.

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