Dirk Westerkamp

Ästhetisches Verweilen

[Aesthetic Contemplation.]

2019. IX, 173 pages.

Philosophische Untersuchungen 48

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ISBN 978-3-16-157050-6
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Published in German.
Many things invite us to dwell on and contemplate them – objects that interest us, things that move us, works of art that inspire us. In lingering, we seem to escape time. Contemplation is, however, not timeless; dwelling on something can also be interwoven into the specific time modes of art. What we experience when contemplating art is the main topic of this book.
What do we experience when contemplating art? Interesting objects, things that move us, or inspiring works of art all invite us to spend time dwelling on and contemplating them. And even though such lingering allows us to escape from time for a time, we are nevertheless still able to immerse ourselves in the temporality of art. So aesthetic contemplation gives us time to experience and muse over art – but to what extent does this depend not only on turning away from time, but also towards it? Pictorial art uses a variety of techniques to let us experience the temporal. In this volume, Dirk Westerkamp develops a theory of artistic abstraction and offers a model of images for discussion. He then places his concept in the wider historical perspective of aesthetic modernity to reveal aesthetic contemplation as a kind of symbolic imagination that has been transformed by modernity.

Dirk Westerkamp Geboren 1971; Studium der Philosophie, Linguistik und Literaturwissenschaft; 2003 Promotion; 2004–10 Juniorprofessor für Sprachphilosophie und Ästhetik an der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel; 2010 Gastprofessor an der Universität Lille; seit 2010 Professor für Theoretische Philosophie und Direktor am Philosophischen Seminar in Kiel.


The following reviews are known:

In: Philosophische Rundschau — 67 (2020), S. 193–228 (Florian Arnold)
In: Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie — 26. Februar 2020, S. 34 (Wolfgang Helllmich)
In: Arbitrium — 40 (2022), S. 382–386 (Francesca Iannelli)